Hiding the Word

I was assigned another devotional for lent at church so I wanted to post it here too. Also, Joy did one that I will pay for her and the later I will post the one I wrote in case she didn’t have time to write hers up.

Psalm 119:11I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.”

This verse means a lot to me. I remember hearing this verse growing up in AWANA, and we try to recall it around our house occasionally. It could be easy to see this as a legalistic command to memorize scripture or else you are a sinner, but it is so much more.

I can remember times (particularly in college), when I would be on my own and thinking about something. I would likely have the radio or CD player on while I was fretting about something. And God would let me hear the lyrics to a song in a way that would bring peace more than any of the regular thoughts stewing in my head.

This verse reveals a truth to make that kind of experience more likely. As I study Gods word, or even more when I memorize it, my mind is shaped to think about things or in the ways that help me glorify God. Much like when I would listen to the radio in college, the Holy Spirit calls scriptures to mind more readily when I have memorized them.

Sometimes this can be comforting, sometimes it is convicting, but generally it will help me be centered on Christ. This devotional assignment is a good reminder to me, in this season of Lent, to see what scriptures I may need to review or what I may need learn new.

— this will be in the 2018 Lent devotional emails from HarmonySTL.org. I assume that they will have a signup for that. If you want the emails. If not you can just contact one of the staff and they can get the whole thing to you

Livening liturgy vs hollow holidays

Ash wednesday was a couple weeks before I started this post. That means lent is in full force. It feels like the New Year Holiday to me. I mean the part about making an empty promise and breaking it. And besides that, a long period of abstinence seems silly when it is preceded by a Fat Tuesday where, in our culture, people feel like they have to repent all the way to Easter for their Mardi Gras indiscretions.

The sermon bringing in the season at Harmony was helpful for me. The big point I took from it was that the tradition works when the fasting is a springboard for reflection.  So the key is deciding to engage with the tradition, rather than just slide through, if I want to connect with God and be able to more properly align with him.

I am not fasting from food. But I do need the time to reflect. I won’t bore you with the details of my fast because it is would seem silly and still I am not doing that well. Actually that is the reason I am writing this post.

I have a problem and I can’t tell which side it is on (but it’s probably the inside).  I came into Lent looking forward to deep introspection and growth.  What I saw when I looked in was ugly: I still crave the opportunity to sin.

I guess that’s the deal. Lent isn’t about me. It is about Him. Maybe I should be contemplating the One this time celebrates rather than just introspecting. Hopefully that will provide the strength to make it through the rest of Lent.