Lent 2015 – a couple thots

Here are a couple of my Lenten thots this week. On Ash Wednesday as I prepared to open our service at Grace Bible Church http://gracebiblechurch.ca/ .  I started thinking about the three things that Christians traditionally consider at this time of the Church year – Praying, Fasting & Almsgiving. Last Sunday George Shillington preached from 1 John 2 – verse 16 is http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=291455207where the writer summarizes the worldly desires that distract us from following the will of God – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life (NRSV).

It occurred to me that these groups of three could be linked. Fasting helps us face some of the desires of the flesh. Prayer focuses our “eyes” on more than worldly things. Almsgiving gives us an opportunity to share the things that we have rather than protecting them.

Somewhere in my internet travels I came across one of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets – between “Death be not proud…” & “Batter my heart, three person’d God…”  Holy Sonnet XIII – What if this present were the worlds last night? It seems Lenten in it’s tone and the “forgivenesses” Donne highlights is good news for me as I reflect on how easily I get distracted by my “profane mistresses” from God’s will.

WHAT if this present were the worlds last night?    
Marke in my heart, O Soule, where thou dost dwell,    
The picture of Christ crucified, and tell    
Whether that countenance can thee affright,    
Teares in his eyes quench the amasing light,             5
Blood fills his frownes, which from his pierc’d head fell.    
And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,    
Which pray’d forgivenesse for his foes fierce spight?    
No, no; but as in my idolatrie    
I said to all my profane mistresses,      10
Beauty, of pitty, foulnesse onely is    
A signe of rigour: so I say to thee,    
To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assign’d,    
This beauteous forme assures a pitious minde.

May the “amasing light” of God’s love revealed in Jesus the Christ guide us as we descend into the darkness of Lent 2015.

About gsmurphy1

Husband, father, son, brother, listener, seeker, encourager, pilgrim, stained glass artist
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