Tag Archives: Lent

40 Days of Lent #23

Mark14:12-26 NKJV


Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.  Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’  Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.” So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. In the evening He came with the twelve. Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “ Is it I?” And another said, “ Is it I?” He answered and said to them, “ It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.  The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.  Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

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40 Days of Lent #10

Luke 20:27-40 NKJV

Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.” Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.” Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

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40 Days of Lent – Reading #1

Matthew 21:1-11 ESV

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”  This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,   “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”  The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

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Five Dubious Practices …

Things I used to do at the Easter season, and have repented (sort of)..
1. I used to say at lent, that the thing I gave up was this prideful practice of giving up things to be noticed by others. (“Oh, he is so holy and devout, he gave up ___ for lent”). I felt that grace was sufficient and any little thing that I did could not add in any way to Jesus work on Calvary. This is true, but rubbing the noses of the “rule-keepers” into this was not appropriate. As Paul would say, it does not edify or build up the body of Christ. Now, I try to give of myself more than ever before, but I don’t broaast it and I’m sorry I mentioned it here. But I wanted to say I have changed. My former attitude was just as prideful as the attitude of the Lent extremists.
2. I used to make a big deal of Easter Baskets, coloring eggs for the kids, the whole nine yards. I have known for some time that the church in ancient times combined Resurrection Sunday with a pagan holiday, but I didn’t think much about it. Now, I want to jealously guard the Holy Resurrection aspect and minimize the pagan influence. This is not to say that God will send you to Hell for eating Easter candy, but let’s be distinctly Christian in our perspective of this Holy Holiday.
3. I used to go to a grand buffet for Easter Sunday Dinner. It was the feast of feasts. I over-indulged every single time and gave no thought to the deadly sin of gluttony. Reform has come slowly, but I no longer use Resurrection Sunday to hasten my early demise by over-indulging to ridiculous proportions. The day should not be about that. I can rejoice in Christ’s triumph over death in other ways besides gluttony. I am doing better on this one.
4. Remember those “Sunrise Services?”. Some churches still have them. I was an early riser for most of my adult life, so it didn’t bother me that much. But most of my nuclear family was not…and if they did not get their sleep, they were grumpy. This is not the attitude you should take to church on any Sunday. By the time the regular morning service started, the kids were in their Easter Sunday best clothes sleeping under the pews. This did not serve any practical purpose, so later in life we skipped the sunrise service and stuck to our usual routine and it worked much better for us. After all, it had to be sonrise somewhere in the world when our service started!
5. This one is especially egregious, because my taste changed, but I think it’s because I was by no means moderate. I am talking about “peeps” as I remember them. Yellow or pink, I would savor every tasty bite of marshmallow-sugar flavor. sometimes I would let them melt in my mouth, but usually they did not last long enough to melt. There could never be enough peeps. Then, at some point, I really think they changed the recipe. I cannot put one of these new counterfeits in my mouth. The cloyingly sweet mix in my mouth makes me sick to my stomach and the flavor tastes so artificial. I don’t think it would ever melt in my mouth. I think I could stuff it in a cheek, save it a year and pull it out pristine for the next Easter. Paul preaches moderation, but I preach to you a new commandment…abstinence! Death to the peeps. We hardly knew ye!
In all seriousness, let us all look at our holiday practices with an eye to please God, serve others, and observe the tenets of our faith as nobly as those who fought to pass them on to us.

Peace be unto you!