Practicing Lent – Holy Week

March 29 – April 4

Read or listen to this week’s reflections here.

The written texts of this week’s reflections have been posted so that you may begin to deeply engage Holy Week. 

The audio files will be posted as they are produced but will be available for each day.  The Palm Sunday reflection in audio is now up.

This week we depart from our pattern of hearing from the five different writers we have been reading and listening to over the past five weeks. The Rev. Drs. John Lewis and Jane Patterson will be with us the entire week to bring us wisdom and an in-depth experience of the last six days of Christ’s earthly life.

Joining them on Thursday is Rebecca Hall, a staff member from St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin and a student in the Spiritual Formation program at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin.

palms_1826cThis Sunday we begin again the long walk with Jesus to Jerusalem. We take up palm fronds with the exuberant crowd and welcome him as king as he enters the city on Sunday.

On Monday we are with Christ as he curses the barren fig tree then cleanses the temple to make it “a house of prayer for all people.”

On Tuesday we are at the table as the woman with the alabaster jar of costly perfume anoints Christ’s body beforehand for his burial.

Wednesday brings us to the Passover Meal with Jesus and his disciples, for Mark’s gospel places this event here in the chronology.

On Thursday we recall Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet as we perhaps prepare to do the same at our own churches on Thursday evening.Week Of Passion

Friday brings us to the culmination – the trial, the crucifixion, the voiced despair – and we wonder if the cause is lost.

Saturday we accompany Christ as he descends into Hell to free the prisoners of sin and death.

lilies_5615cSunday – well, you know Sunday.  The most glorious and triumphant day in the Christian church.  We do not offer a reflection for Sunday but know that each of you will be celebrating at your own church.  We wish you a joyous and blessed Easter Day for the rest of your life.  We appreciate your practicing Lent with us.

Practicing Lent Week 6

wk 6 graphicClick here to read or listen to daily reflections for this week.

This is our last week of Lent before Holy Week. The Rev. Dr. John Lewis begins the week with a reflection for Sunday, Mar. 22, the fifth Sunday in Lent. Lewis draws from chapter 11 of Hebrews to remind us of the faithful who have gone before and are now part of the Cloud of Witnesses that continues to strengthen and guide us.

On Monday, Mar 23, we take a deep look at the Jesus prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

On Tuesday the Rev. Paul Frey talks about what he finds behind the washing machine when he moves it to make way for a new one. Then he suggests we might clean out some spiritual spaces to make way for God to move in.

The Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson tells us to just “show up” on Wednesday – show up at city council meetings, HOA meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings. Show up in unexpected places and speak for God.

On Thursday, Sylvia Maddox invites us to learn more about Thomas Merton – the Trappist Monk who introduced an entire generation to contemplative spirituality.

The Rev. Mike Marsh returns to the desert mothers and fathers on Friday to talk about fasting from words.

Find the daily reflections by clicking here or going to the menu in the column on the right.

 

 

Practicing Lent Week 5

Click here to read or listen to daily reflections for this week. Or see the menu on the right.

Christian cross on wheat ears - religious concept

In her reflection for the fourth Sunday of Lent, March 15, the Rev. Dr. Jane Lancaster asks what is important about doing spiritual practices. “Is the importance in the practice itself, or in our motivation and intentions in carrying out a practice?” Jane asks.

This week, read what Matthew’s gospel has to say about the practice of fasting and simplicity in Jane’s reflection.

On Monday this week, Marjorie George introduces us to the practice of “flash prayers” – brief, on-the-spot prayer for others done throughout the day.

On Tuesday, Paul Frey speculates on Jesus as a loser, and wonders if we are willing to give up “winning” in the world’s view in order to be like Jesus.

Pray for the city, says Jennifer Brooke-Davidson on Wednesday. Find out the names of the mayor and council members of your city and pray for them by name.

Desmond Tutu is the subject of Thursday’s reflection by Sylvia Maddox. Tutu was convinced that there can be no reconciliation without truth.

And on Friday, Mike Marsh calls us to detach from both the scorn and the praise of others as we grow into the persons Christ intends for us to become.

See the menu on the right for each week’s reflections in our Practicing Lent 2015 series.

Practicing Lent Week 4

wk 4 graphicClick here to read or listen to daily reflections for this week.

 

This week’s reflections begin with the Rev. Dr. John Lewis recalling a time he traveled to Sudan to teach. There he witnessed the true meaning of love of neighbor. The house he stayed in had dirt floors, no running water, and no sewage system. “Healthy produce was virtually nonexistent,” says Lewis, “and there was almost never any meat of any kind on the table.”

These Sudanese Christians faced ethnic, religious, and tribal conflict daily, yet they gladly shared what little they had with their American guests with a generosity grounded in faith and joy.

This week we consider the practice of fixed-hour prayer on Monday, when we stop four times a day to offer prayer.

On Tuesday, the Rev. Paul Frey reminds us that both vices and virtues start with the little things.

You are the equipment, the Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson reminds us on Wednesday, just as were the 70 Jesus sent out to proclaim the good news.

On Thursday, we meet Dorothy Day, who used her gifts to make people aware of injustice, poverty, and strife.

And on Friday, the Rev. Mike Marsh tells about a disciple of Abba Agathon who saw a pea and the ground and asked if he could pick it up. Read or listen to how the Abba’s reply still speaks to us today.

Click here to read or listen to daily reflections for this week. Or see March 8-13 in the menu on the right.