Lent Daybook, 14: Piece of property

A Lent daybook for these 40 days of prayer. Join me, won't you?  (see previous Lent daybook 2018 posts here)

Is this your first time to practice Lent?  Here's a simple introduction: How we prepare for Lent.

*Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.*

   This notice of sale is described: "Paupers would be sold at auction to the lowest bidder. Basically, a bidder would take out a contract to house, cloth and feed the person and in return they would work for one year to pay the debt." ( source )


This notice of sale is described: "Paupers would be sold at auction to the lowest bidder. Basically, a bidder would take out a contract to house, cloth and feed the person and in return they would work for one year to pay the debt." (source)

music for today: "Precious Lord, Take My Hand / You've Got A Friend [Live at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Los Angeles 1/13/72]", Aretha Franklin 

about the album: "January 13th, 1972. Watts. Los Angeles. The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church was in a swivet. [read more]" Watch the trailer for a film by Sydney Pollack documenting the making of the 1972 Franklin album was shelved by Warner Brothers. It remains unreleased. 


all readings for today: Genesis 42:29-38, Psalm 71, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Mark 4:21-34



Their father said to them, “You’re taking everything I’ve got! Joseph’s gone, Simeon’s gone, and now you want to take Benjamin. If you have your way, I’ll be left with nothing.”

Reuben spoke up: “I’ll put my two sons in your hands as hostages. If I don’t bring Benjamin back, you can kill them. Trust me with Benjamin; I’ll bring him back.”

But Jacob refused. “My son will not go down with you. His brother is dead and he is all I have left. If something bad happens to him on the road, you’ll put my gray, sorrowing head in the grave.”


”Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”


”Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open.

“Are you listening to this? Really listening?

“Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.”


”You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.

I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed
who sought to do me hurt.
— Genesis 42: 36-38 * 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 * Mark 4:21-26 (MSG) * Psalm 71:20-24 (ESV)

* Monday - Thursday Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2). On Fridays, I'll include the Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday which are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B).

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Spiritual practice for today:

Each week during Lent, we will devote Thursdays to acts of repentance. It's God's kindness that leads us to repentance, and in His kindness and provision for reconciliation, He invites us to make confession and ask for forgiveness on behalf of not only ourselves but our forefathers and mothers. We carry a heavy load of guilt and grief in our nation as a result of centuries of grievous sin and unrelenting injustice against African Americans. 

I've added to my personal Lenten reading this year the brief daily posts called An American Lent, a collaboration between Coracle and The Repentance Project. I commend the readings to you, and if nothing else, consider reading and signing the call to action entitled Statement of Repentance

Not far from where you live there is a city — or you may live at its very heart.  Its most coveted addresses are places of luxury of which Babylon or Rome could only dream.  But that city also carries a legacy of violence — a history of treating people as profitable things.  What is the residue of that legacy?  Who bears its scars today?  If that legacy were fully and truly judged, would you be one of the kings, merchants, and sailors who mourns the loss of wealth?  Or would you say with the scorned of the earth, “Hallelujah!  The smoke goes up from her forever and ever” (Revelation 19:3)?

For most of us, the best we can hope is that we would be in both groups.  We have profited from exploitative economies past and present.  But by grace we can also heed the call of Revelation 18:4, “Come out of her, my people.”  Spend a few moments in prayer...
  1. Lamenting all the things that would be lost, and will be lost, in God’s judgment of our own nation and world,
  2. Lamenting even more the loss that has come as our economies have turned people into things, and
  3. Praying for the courage to resist evil and the lure of the "Babylons" of our day.

(see all Lent daybook posts from 2017 here)