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Lenten Devotions

Lenten devotion 2015

March 9, 2015

Daily Scripture Readings for Lent 2015

Jeremiah 7:1-15; Romans 4:1-12; John 7:14-36

“Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word,” the Lord tells Jeremiah. All of you who come here to worship, listen up. “Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place” (7:2-3). Some “ways” that needed amending:

  • act justly one with another,
  • do not oppress the alien, orphan or widow,
  • do not shed innocent blood in this place,
  • do not go after other gods.

“If you truly amend your ways in the above ways,” says the Lord, “then I will dwell with you in this place. If you continue doing wrong – or not doing right – and then come and claim the Lord’s house as your safe space, forget it.”

I, too, am watching, says the Lord.

I love to come to worship at Park Lake and let the stresses of the week seep away, soaking up the quiet, music, prayers, and the Word of God. When I cross over the threshold into Church, I do feel like I’m entering a different space, set apart from the world.

But Jeremiah reminds me that God’s house is not a place to hide from the problems of the world or my life. The Church is a community in which I can find new light cast on my struggles, and deepened will to take action in response to complex issues.
The house of the Lord is a sanctuary. Not for hiding, but refueling for works of mercy, justice, shelter, and hospitality in the world.

Hymn tune Ellacombe
Religion that is undefiled,
Religion that is pure
Will reach to help the orphaned child
And welcome all the poor.
If people come here poorly dressed,
To judge them is a sin.
The rich aren’t better than the rest;
God welcomes poor ones in.
–Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
(complete hymn text)

Linda Wright Simmons