Lent Daybook, 2: Mark the blameless

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.*


    State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965. John Lewis, the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (in the foreground) is being beaten by state troopers. Lewis would go on to become a U.S. congressman, elected as the representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district in 1986.(AP)  ( source )

 

State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965. John Lewis, the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (in the foreground) is being beaten by state troopers. Lewis would go on to become a U.S. congressman, elected as the representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district in 1986.(AP)  (source)


music for today: "Discomfort them, O Lord", Thomas Tallis, Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly 

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Text: 

"Discomfort them O Lord that trust to their own multitude and strength, and forget not that thou art ev’n he our God, which destroyest wars from the beginning, for the Lord is thy name. Lift up thine arm and in thy power bring their power to naught. Cause thy might to fall in thy wrath. There was never proud person that pleased thee but in the prayer of the meek hath thy pleasure been evermore."
 

I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
*
”I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.”
*
”Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
*
”When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
— Habakkuk 3:16-18 * Psalm 37:37-40 * Philippians 3:17-21 * John 17:1-3 (ESV)

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


prayer for today from Evening Prayers For Every Day of the Year by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt :

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3– 4, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we love and honor your ways even when they are bitter ways. We long for courage and strength. Lord, help us to believe. Grant faith to the millions surrounded by death, faith that overcomes everything through utmost self-denial. Let your light shine out to bring life to the nations in the midst of all that is happening. Your light shall lead and guide us, and peace will come, a deeper peace than we have ever known. Remember each of us in all our concerns, and grant that the struggles of life may lead us to peace. If hard and bitter ways should be our lot, help us to remain steadfast, never complaining about our burdens even in the most difficult days, for through grief and trouble the way leads to you. Amen.
— Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

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Spiritual practice for today:

Each week during Lent, we will devote Thursdays to acts of repentance in issues of social justice. 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


(see all Lent daybook posts from 2017 here)