Lent daybook, 27: They ate as much as they wanted

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

An aid worker distributes bread and supplies to migrants at a transition camp September 7, 2015 in Magyarkanizsa, Serbia.  (source)

An aid worker distributes bread and supplies to migrants at a transition camp September 7, 2015 in Magyarkanizsa, Serbia.  (source)


Song for today: Deliverance by Strahan

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.

Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.”

One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.”

Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.

When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.

The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. They said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.

*

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.

For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
— John 6:1-15 (MSG) * Psalm 89:14-18 (ESV)

Prayer for today:

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer (Collect for the fourth Sunday in Lent)

Spiritual practice for today:

Today -- or this week -- fast from all social media. Instead, spend the time listening through Part 2 of Handel's Messiah (the "Easter" part)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 24 & 25: Let's get rid of the preacher

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Conscience, Judas by Nikolai Ge (source)

Conscience, Judas by Nikolai Ge (source)


Song for today: Hurt by Johnny Cash

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


God told me what was going on. That’s how I knew. You, God, opened my eyes to their evil scheming. I had no idea what was going on—naive as a lamb being led to slaughter! I didn’t know they had it in for me, didn’t know of their behind-the-scenes plots:

’Let’s get rid of the preacher.
That will stop the sermons!
Let’s get rid of him for good.
He won’t be remembered for long.’

*

’If God were your father,’ said Jesus, ‘you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side.’
— Jeremiah 11:18-19 * John 8:42-47 (MSG)

Prayer for today:

You came to taste death, yet You were the Life and had come to bring it to the dead.

Thanks be to God. Amen.
— Gregory the Great, 6th century

Spiritual practice for Friday & Saturday:

On Friday, choose one of the following fasts in honor of the crucifixion of our Lord:

  1. No meat

  2. Skip one meal

  3. No caffeine

On Friday or Saturday, use the guide below to examine your heart and look for meaningful ways to put your faith into practice.

Prayer of Examination:

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!(Psalm 139:23-24)

Take a moment to quiet your heart and reflect upon the past week. Look especially for ways to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God for his goodness and love, as well as genuine sorrow over your own sin and brokenness. Close this time of prayer by expressing your hope in the power of the Holy Spirit who is faithful to forgive, cleanse, and transform you into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). (source)

 


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 23: Why are you downcast, oh my soul?

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. (You can see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Prelude to the Transition by Pawel Kwiatkowski (source)

Prelude to the Transition by Pawel Kwiatkowski (source)


Song for today: Cello Suite, No.3, Prelude by J.S. Bach (performed by Yo-Yo Ma)

 

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation[c] 6 and my God.
— Psalm 42:1-5 (ESV)

Prayer for today:

O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it that You may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it! It displeases Your sight. I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it? To whom shall I cry but to You?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare Your servant from strange sins.
— Augustine of Hippo, 5th century

Spiritual practice for today:

Today, if you are physically able, find a place where you can kneel for ten minutes without interruption. During this time, your knees will ache and you will most likely feel tension in your body because of the unfamiliar position you are holding. Try to ignore any physical signs of discomfort and simply focus on quieting your mind Recite Psalm 27:14: I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (source: Simplifying the Soul)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 22: Their greed knew no bounds

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. Join me, won't you? (see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Crucifixion at Barton Creek Mall by James B. Janknegt (source)

Crucifixion at Barton Creek Mall by James B. Janknegt (source)


Song for today: Half Crazy by The Barr Brothers

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


They ate and had their fill; he handed them everything they craved on a platter. But their greed knew no bounds; they stuffed their mouths with more and more.

Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.

*

That’s when the Temple police reported back to the high priests and Pharisees, who demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him with you?”

The police answered, “Have you heard the way he talks? We’ve never heard anyone speak like this man.”

The Pharisees said, “Are you carried away like the rest of the rabble? You don’t see any of the leaders believing in him, do you? Or any from the Pharisees? It’s only this crowd, ignorant of God’s Law, that is taken in by him—and damned.
— Psalm 78: 29-30, 38-39 * John 7:45-49 (MSG)

Prayer for today:

O God, Who wilt consume at the last day the heavens and the earth with all the creatures they contain, to show to all mankind that nothing subsists save Thee… O God, Who wilt destroy all these vain idols and all these fatal objects of our passions! I praise Thee, my God, and I will bless Thee all the days of my life.
— Blaise Pascal, 17th century

Spiritual practice for today:

Use Psalm 78:1-39 as a template to list the times and ways God has provided for you in unexpected & undeserved ways.


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)

Lent daybook, 21: If you do not oppress the sojourner

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. Join me, won't you? (see previous Lent daybook 2017 posts here)

Exodus from Mosul by Reuters (source)

Exodus from Mosul by Reuters (source)


Song for today: O God, Will You Restore Us? by Bifrost Arts

Listen to all of the Lent Daybook 2017 songs at this playlist on Spotify:  Lent 2017


The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
— Jeremiah 7:1-7 (ESV)

Prayer for today:

O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!
— Psalm 80:4-7 (ESV)

Spiritual practice for today:

Today, spend some quiet moments in prayer. Ask God where He is weeping in your life and in the world and join Him there. It is never weakness to grieve where God is grieving. While tears are not required in grief, boldly ask Him for the gift of tears as you grieve.

(source: 40 Days of Decrease)


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2016 here)