Tag Archives: Lent

Considering the Day Before Good Friday: Lenten Thanks

     (Note: Today’s post is reprinted from 2019 with a few minor changes) Today, the day before Good Friday, is known as Holy, or Maundy Thursday. On the day before Christ’s cruel crucifixion, it is worth considering crucial events and pivotal words spoken by Jesus.

     During the ‘Last Supper,” the final meal with his beloved disciples, Jesus bent low to wash their feet, giving them an example of servant leadership.

     The word maundy is derived from a Latin word, which means commandment and refers to the commandment Jesus gave to his disciples after washing their feet.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34 NKJV)

     Theologian John Piper says the ‘greatest prayer in the world’[1] was prayed on Maundy Thursday in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus cried,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but yours be done. (Mark 14:36)

     During the 2019 season of Lent, I read two impactful books: Sharon Hodde Miller Free of Me…Why Life is Better When It’s NOT ABOUT YOU and Self-Forgetfulness…The Path to True Christian Joy by Timothy Keller. (Note: I recommend both books but suggest you first read Keller’s short booklet, which was instrumental in Miller’s insights.)

     Jesus’ prayer in the Garden presents the ultimate example of “self-forgetfulness.”

     While reading these two books, I was reminded first about how preoccupied with me I can be. Secondly, I felt encouraged that despite my tendency toward self-absorption, I see personal growth. I recognize greater willingness to lay aside my will because I sense God is calling me to a purpose beyond that which comes naturally or feels most comfortable.

     May your soul find rest and peace during these final days before Resurrection Sunday.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus,

Forgive me for the ways in which I tend to make life all about me and mine.
Thank you for illustrating on Holy Thursday how to serve others and to submit to God.
I can find no words to express my gratitude for who you are and what you did to bring salvation and spiritual freedom to all who will trust you.

So, all I will say is, THANK YOU!!

Sue Reeve

Mau

  1. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-greatest-prayer-in-the-world-maundy-thursday

Considering Those Who Accompany Me on the Journey: Lenten Thanks

     During Lent, which I’ve decided this year will be a season of thanksgiving, I’m reminded repeatedly of the thankfulness I have for people whose lives have in the past, do in the present, and will in the future intersect mine.

     For over 40 years, I’ve been doing life with this guy. The first characteristic attracting me to Ron was his mellow baritone speaking voice. Even though many miles have separated us at times during our marriage, there have been fewer than a dozen days when I’ve not been able to hear my husband’s voice—a sound which always speaks safety and stability.

     As I write those words, I’m reminded that’s how I feel when I hear the ‘still, small voice’ of God’s Spirit speaking to my soul—a voice which scripture promises will never leave me and will never let me down.

     If my husband—with all the limitations that come from being just-a-guy—manages to convey love and acceptance to this very flawed lady, how much greater is the unconditional love and extravagant grace a perfect, all-knowing God shows me.

     One of the best parts of this segment of our marriage is the ability to travel to new places together. Now, honestly, my husband isn’t crazy about travel. He’d just as soon stay close to home. He’s willing to travel to places like Vermont (photo above taken during our trip to New England in October 2019) because he knows the experience brings me deep pleasure. He never begrudges accompanying his wife who’s filled with wanderlust, and he always ends up finding joy in the journey behind the lens of his beloved camera.

     I know from comments I’ve received that Ron’s photos—especially scenes from nature—have blessed you. Partnering with my husband in doing the Listening on the Journey… blog has been a wonderful answer to one of those “Surprise me, God” prayers I love to pray.

For the foreseeable future, I will continue to craft words, and my husband will continue to snap photos. Hopefully, both will continue to point you in the direction of a never-changing God in our always-changing worlds.

Prayer:
God of Perfect Relationship,
Thank you for allowing us to journey through our days with others.
Thank you for the gift of rich, life-giving relationships with others and especially You.
Help me never take for granted your never-ending grace and love.

Amen

Sue Reeve

The Gift of Each New Day: Lenten Thanks

Sunrise over the Atlantic, Virginia Beach, VA

     I love to stroll through cemeteries, imagining the story each one of those graves holds. One of my favorite things about our vacation to New England last autumn was discovering old graveyards right in the middle of a town. Walking through an old cemetery in Stowe, Vermont, we discovered this headstone, in memory of a mother and daughter.

     The mother, Mrs. Thankful Kingsley, lived 98 years from 1757 to 1855. Her daughter, Mrs. Aghsah Allen lived 102 years! Quite an accomplishment when the life expectancy at that time was around 40 years of age.

     I couldn’t help but wonder what impact being a woman whose name was “Thankful” had on not only her but on those “Thankful” loved.

     Research during the past few years has shown people who are thankful benefit emotionally, spiritually and even physically. Practicing gratitude reduces stress levels, results in better sleep, promotes self-care, and even leads to less inflammation, a common problem for all types of diseases.

     This second Listening on the Journey… blog post during the season of Lent, I am thankful for the gift of life—no matter how many my years may be.

Prayer:

Giver of Life,

Thank you for each new day you give me to walk upon this earth. Please remind me every present moment is a gift from you.

Amen

Sue Reeve