Glory Seed Devotionals, 2015: Year of Promise
God, “Give me your heart…”
As we begin our journey of Lent 2015 there are a few pressing questions that need our attention. Tom Shanahan, S.J. of Creighton University Theology Department addresses one of them, “Often when we think of Lent we revert to a question that may not be the most important of questions: what shall I “give up” for Lent? We might need to see that good desire as secondary to a deeper realization. A way of formulating the deeper desire might be to ask how I can be more aligned with God’s goodness in the person of Jesus Christ; and how can I make that alignment to Christ a deep desire to imitate him, both externally (dealing with others in their needs) as well as interiorly (discovering more deeply the Christ into whom I was baptized).” (Emphasis mine)
I remember as a young person growing up whenever the Lenten Season rolled around I was consistently asked, “What are you giving up for Lent?” Even now the question presses me for answer. When I think of giving up something I am reminded of the conversation between Jesus and the rich young man who asked Jesus what he needed to do to enter God’s Kingdom. Jesus said, “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” (Mark 10:21, NLT) For me that means giving up everything that stands in my way of following Jesus.
The prophet Joel tells us what we really need to give up not just for Lent but for every day of our life. “That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” (Joel 2:12–13, NLT, emphasis mine)
Fasting is an integral and important part of Lent coming from a hunger in our hearts for Jesus and the work he started not from a hunger in our stomachs.
Anticipate! Experience! Believe! Be transformed!
Grace and PEACE, Amen!
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Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 LEB)
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“Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.”