LENT 2020

Lent is the season of reflection and contemplation that begins about 40 days before Easter

LENT

Maybe you've never observed the Christian season of Lent or perhaps you've observed it your whole life, either way or somewhere in between, we'd love to invite you to journey with us for the next 40+ days as we reflect on the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made in order to reconcile God's children (us) to God's self. If you'd like to Know more about Lent there is a button below that leads to a 3minute video to help answer some of your questions. If you are still curious or want to know more about the church calendar you can visit: http://www.crivoice.org/cylent.html

During the season of Lent we will be posting daily thoughts from Wayfinders as we reflect on specific passages of scripture and we invite you to follow along and give your own commentary on Facebook (unless you gave up social media for Lent in which case you can find the devotionals posted below, if you'd like as we take this Lenten journey together...

Lenten Devotional #37

Thursday


Mark 10:17-31

The story of the "rich young ruler" is very well known and there are a plethora of interpretations of this story. It is very easy to see the foolish rich man in this scene and place ourselves in the role of Peter or one of the other disciples who have, "...given up everything to follow..." Jesus. The danger in this is that we miss the point of the telling of the story. When we place ourselves on the winning team or villainize or create a dunce to mock we make the story about the effort of the characters an assign grace to them because of their effort (which is precisely why the rich man was unable to answer Jesus' call). The point of this story is ultimately found in God's faithfulness to those who do follow, who do give up everything.

In this scene we are reminded that what is being asked of disciples is impossible "humanly speaking" and only made possible by the presence and power of God.

As we journey toward Easter this story helps us with a proper perspective on the resurrection as well. We are not permitted to view the resurrection as the solution to all of our woes or as the happy ending that ends all struggle. The resurrection is an expression of God's fidelity to Jesus. God's love is everlasting and God's faithfulness is everlasting and Jesus' resurrection stands as a promise to those who follow Jesus as disciples. Love is stronger than death and God will be faithful to all of God's children.

-Michael Pigg

Lenten Devotional #36:

Wednesday


Read Mark 8:11-26

Our Scripture today starts just after Jesus has fed four thousand people that have been traveling with Him for three days and have had nothing to eat. He fed them with seven loaves of bread and a few fish…nothing short of miraculous! He then gets in a boat with His disciples and goes to another place.

The Pharisees find Jesus there and ask Him for a sign from heaven. Mind you, by now they have seen many signs from heaven and have attributed them to Satan. But here they are asking again, but they are asking in unbelief and rebellion. Jesus refused to give it to them and chastises them for their unbelief.

Jesus then gets back in the boat and crosses to the other side. The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for the one loaf they had with them in the boat. Jesus warns them to “watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” Yeast used in baking permeates and invades dough and it can change its consistency. Jesus is saying to His disciples, “Be careful so that you do not become like the Pharisees with their misguided religion and hardened hearts.”

He says this to them because not only have they JUST witnessed the feeding of the four thousand, but not long before that they witnessed the feeding of the five thousand, and they have seen and experienced some extraordinary moments and miracles with Jesus.

But the disciples miss the point and think Jesus is angry with them for forgetting the bread. And Jesus asks, “Why are you talking about bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” [they answered 12] “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” [they answered 7] He said to them “Do you still not understand?”

I read that and think the disciples must have not been the brightest crayons in the box, but if I’m honest, I’ve seen and experienced Jesus in so many remarkable ways yet I can get distracted by the smallest of issues, problems, and uncertainties. I think we all can. Especially right now with COVID-19 spreading, the economy failing, and our very livelihood on the line… it’s easy to get distracted into the chaos and away from what…from WHO…is worthy, is true, is good.

But Mark doesn’t stop there with the bad news of distraction. He tells another story of healing. Some people bring a blind man to Jesus for healing. It takes two tries for this man to get his sight back. This is the only account in Scripture that Jesus’ first touch does not completely heal someone. Could Jesus have healed this man in one touch? Of course, He could have! But this healing is a parallel to what is going on with the disciples. Jesus has just told them “you have eyes, but you do not see!” I think He would say the same to us today.

It's a beautiful picture of what is going on in the life of these disciples. Jesus is touching them. He is teaching them. He is instructing them. He is wanting them to understand. Jesus, although clearly frustrated with them, will continue to touch them, continue to teach them, continue to reveal Himself to them over and over again. He does that for us too!

Today, focus on the ONE whom loves you dearly – who knows your blind spots and leads you out of them - for He is waiting!

You are loved!

-Pastor Michelle

Lenten Devotional #35:

Tuesday


Exodus 4:29-6:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

When Moses and Aaron get to Egypt, they go to the Israelites with the good news from God. He has heard them. He is concerned about them. He sees their misery. He will act. They then watch as Moses performs miraculous signs to convince them, and they rightfully bow down and worship God. Next, Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh with the same news, and his response is completely different. He increases the misery of the Israelites. Quickly they shift from bowing in worship to rejecting what Moses and Aaron have told them. Moses also questions God. He has not acted as they thought He would. It’s at this point that God says, “Now you will see what I will do…” The next several chapters are a showdown between God and Pharaoh.

If I had written the script, there would have been a lot less suffering. There would have been no plagues. God would have acted swiftly, and the Israelites would have marched right out of Egypt. God was a lot more patient than I am inclined to be. He proved over and over again that He alone is worthy of our worship. Finally, the Israelites were freed from slavery. God’s patience didn’t stop in Egypt though. Over and over again in the wilderness, the same people who had been miraculously rescued from slavery begged to return. How much worse would this have been had God not proven Himself in Egypt? Would the Israelites have ultimately returned? Would some have returned and others stayed in the wilderness? I don’t know.

I do know that I felt like I was walking the Lenten path to resurrection, and now I feel like one of five humans in a world of avatars. I hate this. I also believe God is up to something. God brought the Israelites into the wilderness to form them into a people who would ultimately share Him with the world. Before this could happen, they had to know who He was. I believe God is showing us a lot of things during this time—more of who He is, more about the idols we have been worshipping, and more about who He wants us to be as a people. Especially in moments when much has been stripped away, God reveals Himself as the giver of more. Ultimately, He is more than enough, and there are many in our world desperate to hear this. Could it be that in the cultural quiet it will be easier for us all to hear His still small voice? God is at work. He wants us to watch and see what He will do.

-Kimberly F.

Lenten Devotional #34:

Monday


Mark 9:30-41 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jesus Again Foretells His Death and Resurrection

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Who Is the Greatest?

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Another Exorcist

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone[a] casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 Whoever is not against us is for us. 41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

In this passage of scripture, we see a quest for pride and immediately Jesus flips it upside down. He takes someone that would be considered least of these during this time and made them have a place of honor. This was Jesus shutting down their competition and confusion by flipping their version of Kingdom. Our lenten postcards book says:

“His is a kingdom of grace, mercy, and compassion. His is to be a kingdom where the last are first and the first last. His is to be a kingdom where the blind see, the hungry are fed, and the diseased are healed. His throne is not to be a gilded chair in a palace but a wooden cross on a hill. He is not going to overthrow Caesar. He is going to crush Satan. He is not intending to overwhelm the power of an army. He is going to destroy the power of sin.” (Page 111 Lenten Postcards)

Jesus is coming. Not the way we want him to or expect him to but Jesus is coming in all his glory. In this time of anticipation, let us not project our expectations, agendas, or images on Christ but instead allow Christ to saturate us in order to rid of us our false agendas, images, and expectations. As we reflect, let us not forget about those around us during this time of solitude. Let us not forget our responsibility to love our neighbor.

Some questions to help reflect:

Who are the vulnerable and less valued around you? What would it look like to love them right now? How might Wayfinders participate in that?

How might humbly acknowledging our shortcomings and imperfect knowledge free us from fear?

Shame often incites us to hide instead of seeking the healing and forgiveness we need. How might you pay attention when shame pops up unexpectedly? What might God want to heal or transform in you?

-Pastor Caleb

Lenten Devotional #33:

Sunday


Exodus 3:16-4:12

16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

6 Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

8 Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”



Moses’ first question to God in Chapter 4 is “What if they don’t believe me or listen to me…” (Exodus 4:1 NIV) It is a reasonable question to ask an all-powerful God. Why would anyone believe that Moses was directly communicating with God? Is Moses asking God to give him some divine collateral to reinforce such a lofty claim? When I am actively seeking the will of God, especially when the process of discernment somehow involves the lives of others, I feel the need to produce supernatural proof. I have noticed that other people will not necessarily mock you if you tell them that you are seeking God’s will, whether they are believers or not. However, they oftentimes expect solid results after you undergo a discernment process. I am encouraged by God’s response to Moses: “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2 NIV). God acts in the supernatural by turning his staff into a snake (and then back again), but uses the most local, commonplace item within Moses’ possession. I need to remember that God will often use whatever is in my hands at the time to achieve His goals if I am humble enough to first seek His will. He will bring supernatural works forth from our ordinary possessions.

-Paul F.

Lenten Devotional #32:

Saturday


Psalm 108

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In a matter of a few short verses, this Psalm moves the writer from an unwavering and joyful heart that is praising God, to finding him questioning whether God has abandoned us or not. I find comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one who is all over the place sometimes. Take solace today that no matter how you are feeling or what your circumstances are, there are many others (and have been many more throughout history) feeling the same way. Will I be brave enough to voice both my praises and my doubts like the Psalmist did so that someone else might be encouraged by my story and confessions?

-Pastor Chris K.

Lenten Devotional #31:

Friday


1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3

“Only in love does a person let go of himself or herself and give up his or her will, for the other person’s benefit. Because love alone comes not from my own self but from another self, from God’s self. Because it is through love alone that God acts through us- where as in everything else it is we ourselves who are at work; it is our thoughts, our speaking, our knowledge- but it is God’s love. And what is ours comes to an end, all of it but what is of God remains. Because love is God‘s very self and God‘s will; that is why it never ends, and never doubts, it stays its course... It goes out to enemies as well as to friends, and it never abandons anyone, even when it is abandoned by everyone. Love follows after its beloved through guilt and disgrace and loneliness, all of which are no part of it; it is simply there and never ends. And it blesses every place it enters. Everywhere it goes, it finds imperfection and bears witness to perfection.” Excerpt from a sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As we reflect on the Scriptures and above writings, let us be challenged to Love First in all that we do.

-Chris Sommers

Lenten Devotional #30:

Thursday


Mark 8:27-9:1

In this set of verses we see a couple things happening. First Jesus asks the disciples who people say that he is. They give various answers like John the Baptist and Elijah, or even one of the prophets. But then Jesus asks the disciples who they think he is. I find this so interesting. Jesus doesn’t tell them who he is right away. Of course he had been showing them for three years up until this point. Jesus lets them decide, he lets them wrestle with the answer and come to their own conclusion. He lets them make their choice. Jesus doesn’t even let Peter know if he is right when he says “You are the Messiah.” He lets his life and ministry do the talking.

Next in the passage, starting in verse 31, Jesus begins to teach again. He teaches the disciples that the Son of Man must suffer, be rejected by the religious leaders, and die. He plainly explains that after three days he will rise again. Peter again seems to put his foot in his mouth. He pulls Jesus aside and rebukes Jesus. I am sure Peter was confused. The Son of Man came to save the world, to change their lives as they knew it. The only way Peter had ever seen this happen was through military might and domination. Jesus is aware of this and reminds Peter that he is not thinking of the concerns of God but only humans. Jesus did not come into Jerusalem on a white stallion, a war horse, for a reason. He came on a donkey. Jesus’ ministry shows us another way that isn’t power driven like humanity is.

Finally, Jesus calls a crowd and the disciples near him. He tells them that they must deny themselves and take up their cross in order to follow him. If you want to save your life you have to lose it. This sure doesn’t seem like something a powerful Messiah who has come to save humanity would say. That may just be the point. Jesus is teaching us about selfless, sacrificial love for one another. Not dominion to get our way.

If the death of Christ wasn’t to give us power to overthrow those who rule over us, then what was it for?

This is what we are discovering in the season of Lent.

In what ways can we give up our self-driven goals and aspirations in life and follow Jesus?

What power systems of this world are we participating in?

How can we nail these things to our cross, pick it up, and follow Jesus?

-Pastor Makayla

Lenten Devotional #29:

Wednesday


Mark 5:21-43

Do you like to be touched? I know that can be a touchy subject, but really think about it. Some of you, like me, hug everyone you see. Some of you get nervous just by thinking about someone hugging you.

Touch is a powerful thing, isn’t it?

There are many studies that have been done about infants and human touch. The babies that get touched thrive and the ones that don’t get touched suffer devastating effects.

This is even true for adults. There are studies showing that physical touch is known to improve the function of your immune system as well as reduce diseases such as those associated with the heart and blood.

Our Scripture today deals with two different stories of touch. One is of a girl that is 12 years old and has a life-threatening fever. The other woman is older and has a twelve-year long disease.

Let’s start with the 12-year-old girl. This is not just any girl. This is the daughter of Jairus, who is the leader of the synagogue. Jairus is the big man around town. He is so worried about his daughter that he walks up to Jesus, in the middle of a huge crowd, falls at His feet and actually begs Jesus to come and heal her from her fever.

So, here you have a well-known girl. Everyone knows she’s sick. Everyone is worried. She’s the center of the crowd’s attention. And Jesus starts walking to the house.

Then something happens. Another woman enters the scene. This woman had been bleeding for 12 years. Now, in this day and time we hear that and think “well that stinks,” but it’s not that big of a deal. But back then, in that culture, it was a huge deal. These are Jewish people who seek to follow the Laws of Moses very carefully. The Law states that when a woman is in her menstrual cycle, she is unclean and anyone that touched her would be considered unclean as well. No one had touched this woman…for twelve years.

This woman, who hasn’t been touched for 12 years and is considered unclean, musters up her courage, pushes through the crowd, and touches the hem of Jesus’ cloak. He stops and in the middle of a swarming crowd, He asks, “Who touched me?” He sees this woman and the longing, the desperation, and the courage it took for her to do what she did. He stoops down, touches her, and says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” Just then, a messenger comes from Jairus’ house. Jesus has taken too long. The girl is dead. Then an interesting thing happens. Jesus leaves the crowd. He takes only a select few people with him into the room with the dead girl. And He touches her.


Let’s look at these two touches for a moment. In both cases, these were forbidden touches. The Law of Moses clearly stated that if a person touches a bleeding woman or a dead body, then that person would become unclean. The uncleanness is something that good, Law abiding, Jewish people would avoid at all costs. However, when Jesus touches the unclean person, the power is reversed. This is the power of our Lord’s touch… To make that which the law declares as unclean to be clean.


I wonder who the untouchable people are today? Certainly, those with COVID-19 are feeling isolated. The rest of us who are practicing social distancing may even be feeling isolated. But let’s go beyond that to before we worried about COVID-19 and to after COVID-19 is eradicated. Who in our society has been pushed so far to the margins that they are untouchable?


I think we all long to be touched. I think we all desire to be healed. Like Jairus and the bleeding woman, we need to be courageous and brave with our faith. Jesus sees you. He loves you and He is for you.

How do you need to be touched by God today? I encourage you to be bold and ask Him to touch you right where you need it. He is faithful to meet us where we are.


Who needs your touch today? Someone does, even if it's in the form of a prayer, a phone call, text, email, note, or simply a smile.

You are loved!

-Pastor Michelle

Lenten Devotional #28:

Tuesday


Mark 8:1-10 (NLT)


Several things just jumped out at me in this story from the gospel of Mark when I read it. Jesus had compassion on the people and was concerned for their physical needs. Jesus’ disciples felt

powerless to do anything about the people’s needs. Jesus invited his disciples to share what ‘little’ they had. Once placed in the hands of Jesus a little becomes more than enough. Maybe you feel like you are facing a crowd of hungry people wondering, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?”

Listen carefully, the Holy Spirit might be asking you, “How much do you have?” And asking you to place it in the hands of Jesus. Do you trust him to multiply the resources when you share what you have?

This is the call of God on all of us. When we ask God, “What are you going to do about this...?” God usually ask, “How much do you have?” You can trust Jesus to multiply what you are willing to share. You can trust Jesus to multiply your shared resources, shared talent, shared effort...


Father God,

We ask that you would take the offerings we bring and multiply them to the furtherance of your kingdom. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and help us to share with others in complete trust that you will provide more than enough.

Amen


-Pastor Michael

Lenten Devotional #27:

Monday


Mark 8:1-10 (NLT)

Several things just jumped out at me in this story from the gospel of Mark when I read it. Jesus had compassion on the people and was concerned for their physical needs. Jesus’ disciples felt

powerless to do anything about the people’s needs. Jesus invited his disciples to share what ‘little’ they had. Once placed in the hands of Jesus a little becomes more than enough. Maybe you feel like you are facing a crowd of hungry people wondering, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?”


Listen carefully, the Holy Spirit might be asking you, “How much do you have?” And asking you to place it in the hands of Jesus. Do you trust him to multiply the resources when you share what you have?

This is the call of God on all of us. When we ask God, “What are you going to do about this...?” God usually ask, “How much do you have?” You can trust Jesus to multiply what you are willing to share. You can trust Jesus to multiply your shared resources, shared talent, shared effort...


Father God,

We ask that you would take the offerings we bring and multiply them to the furtherance of your kingdom. Let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and help us to share with others in complete trust that you will provide more than enough.

Amen