Lenten Meditations

Lenten Meditations

Meditate on these words each day. If possible, do your meditation at the same time and place each day. Fit it into your personal way of connecting your soul with the Holy Spirit. Keep it simple. Perhaps selecting a single word as your focus. Each week has a suggested activity. Each Saturday is a Lenten Prayer from the United Methodist Hymnal to remind you of the purpose of Lent. These Lenten meditations are provided each week by one of our members, Myra Schomburg, as her Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation project. Thank you, Myra!

Lenten Meditations – Week Seven

Our Lenten journey together is nearing the end. Many of us rush through the days of Holy Week. Some do not even attend the celebration of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, or Good Friday. I encourage you to experience each day as Jesus and His disciples did…one day at a time.


Sunday, April 14 – Palm Sunday, Last Sunday of Lent

Luke 19:28b-40 – Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
…He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When He had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples, saying “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ “ So those who were sent departed and found it just as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the cold?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As He rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was not approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order Your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”


Monday, April 15 – “Ain’t No Rock Gonna’ Shout for Me”
Lyrics: J. Paul Williams Music: Lloyd Larson. ©2003 Lorenz Publishing Company
Here comes the Lord ridin’ on a donkey
with people waving branches and callin’ him “King.”
Here comes the Lord ridin’ through Jerusalem.
If the people don’t shout, the rocks will cry out.

REFRAIN: Rocks, keep silent! Jesus comes to set me free.
Rocks, keep silent! I’m gonna’ shout in vistory!
Rocks, keep silent! Jesus reigns in majesty.
Ain’t no rock gonna’ shout for me.

Here comes the Lord as thousands throng to see him.
Children stand on tiptoes to see the King.
Here comes the Lord, excitement in the air.
If the people don’t shout, the rocks will cry!
Oh, yes, the rocks will cry out!
REFRAIN

Here comes the Lord; hosannas fill the air.
The people bow and worship the promised King!
Here comes the Lord. “Hosannas in the highest!”
If the people don’t shout the rocks will cry out!
REFRAIN


Tuesday, April 16 

The city of Jerusalem is filled with Jews from all around the world who have come to celebrate Passover. In John 12:20, we learn that among them were some Greeks. There were many converts to Judaism from various places and cultures. In the gospel of John, after the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, Jesus speaks of “the hour” and other references to His death. In light of the reception on Palm Sunday, it is difficult for the people to believe what Jesus is trying to tell them. It is difficult for us to understand because we know the “end” of the story. Today, consider how difficult it was for Jesus’ followers to listen to Him speaking of his death when they are still excited about the powerful experience of His triumphal entry.


Wednesday, April 17

In the Gospel of Luke 19:45-48, we have the powerful scene of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple. He drove out those selling animals for the sacrifices of the Passover celebration. He was teaching every day in the Temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were disturbed by His actions and His words. They began to look for a way to kill him.

What happens when people in power are threatened by the support of the public for someone whose authority they don’t recognize? Verse 48 ends with “for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.”

Thursday, April 18 – Maundy (or Holy) Thursday

This is the day for the preparation of the Passover. In the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) this is the day of the Last Supper when Jesus changes the wording of the Seder ceremony from a celebration of the Jewish Passover on the last night in Egypt to the renaming of the unleavened bread and the blood to be His body and blood. Think of the impact these changes had on his disciples on that night as you prepare to come to worship tonight. This day’s events end with the arrest of Jesus and the trials begin. His enthusiastic followers and even His closest disciples abandon Him.

Were We There
Lyrics: Pamela Martin Music: Craig Courtney, ©Copyright 2006 by Beckenhorst Press, Inc.

Vs. 1 – Were we there, you and I, in the olive grove that night?
Was there silver in my hand to betray the Son of Man?
Did you run away and hide? In your fear, did you deny?
Were we there, were we there, you and I?

Worship Service: 7 pm
Activity: Wear sandals today without socks. Walk along unpaved trails or do some yard work. Don’t wash your feet before you go to church. We will do it for you. This experience will help you come to understand the significance of Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet.


Friday, April 19 – Good Friday

Overnight, Jesus has been tried before the Jewish Chief Priest, the Sanhedrin, and finally taken to the Roman court of Pontius Pilate. By mid-morning, He has been found guilty of treason as “The King of the Jews.” He is beaten and forced to carry a cross to Calvary to be crucified. By mid-afternoon, He is dead. His body is removed from the cross and placed in a grave nearby before sunset because that is the time the Sabbath begins.

Were We There
Lyrics: Pamela Martin Music: Craig Courtney, ©Copyright 2006 by Beckenhorst Press, Inc.

Vs. 2 – Were we there, you and I, boldly crying, “crucify”?
Did you mock Him with your scorn? Did I weave the crown of thorns?
Did you strike Him in the face, spit on Him in His disgrace?
Were we there, were we there, you and I?

Vs. 3 – Were we there, you and I, on that hill the day He died?
Did you watch without a sound when they brought the hammer down?
Did I turn to look away from His suffering and pain?
Were we there? Were we there? Were you there?

Worship Service 7 pm – Begins in the Courtyard and moves to the Family Life Center


Saturday, April 20 – Holy Saturday, also known as Silent Saturday
(from Disciplines 2018 – by Jan Richardson – ©2017 by Upper Room Books)
“You awake, and the awful wave of remembering washes over you. It is as if it has happened all over again: the dying, the loss, the utter and unfathomable goneness of the beloved.
…there is nowhere you can go that this grief will not accompany you.
…How can it be that it has all come to this? What now?”

Many believe that this day should be observed in silence. This hymn is traditionally used.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence – UMH #626
Words: Liturgy of St. James, 4th century.; trans by Gerald Moultrie, 1864
Music: French carol melody

Vs. 1 – Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

Vs. 2 – King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.


Sunday, April 21 – Easter Sunday

Four services – 9 and 11 am in the FLC and the Sanctuary

Were We There
Lyrics: Pamela Martin Music: Craig Courtney, ©Copyright 2006 by Beckenhorst Press, Inc.

Vs. 4 – Were we there? Were we there?
Were you there? Was I, too, on that morning at the tomb?
When we looked into His face, did we know He took our place?
Yes, He died for us as though we were there so long ago.
We were there, we were there, we were there.


Thank you for your participation in these meditations during Lent. My hope is that your hearts have been touched by the sharing of so many beautiful words put forth by people across the centuries in celebration of the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. – Myra Schomburg


Lenten Meditations – Week Six

As we continue our Lenten journey together, we turn to an event that requires all our senses. Jesus had told the disciples plainly that he would die soon (Mark 8:31-32), but only the woman in this passage seems to believe him. During each day’s reading think of the sights, sounds, scents, touches, and emotions each person encountered.


Sunday, April 7 – Fifth Sunday of Lent
Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at Bethany
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor. And they scolded her.” But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”


Monday, April 8 – Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at Bethany
Read today and see the event from the perspective of those who were angered by the woman’s action.


Tuesday, April 9 – Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at BethanyRead today from the perspective of the woman.
Read today from the perspective of the woman.


Wednesday, April 10 – Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at Bethany
Read today from Jesus’ perspective.


Thursday, April 11 – Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at Bethany
Read today from the perspective of a poor person hearing this story.


Friday, April 12 – Mark 14:3-9. The Anointing at Bethany
Read today from your own perspective. Which word or phase draws your attention the most? Why? How does it invite you to pray?
Action: Which person’s perspective spoke to you most clearly or strongly? What is God inviting you to DO? Take action.

Saturday, April 13
Here are the lyrics to one of the songs I listen to every night as I go to sleep.

At the Feet of Jesus
At the feet of Jesus I will lay my burdens down
I will lay my heavy burdens down
In the stillness I can hear my Savior calling out
Come to me and lay your burdens down

So I will lay down my struggles
I will lay down my shame
All the fear I drag around through this life
like a ball and chain
I will sing Hallelujah to the One who sets me free
And you will find me at the feet of Jesus

In the arms of Jesus I will find my peace and rest
I hear him calling come to me and rest
Carried by my shepherd cradled tightly to His chest
There and there alone my soul finds rest
So I will rest in the shelter of my Savior’s embrace
Hidden safely in the refuge of His mercy and His Grace
And I Will Sing Hallelujah to the One who sets me free
And you will find me in the arms of Jesus

At the feet of my Savior
At the feet of my King
I will bow down and worship
I will lift my voice and sing
Hallelujah Hallelujah to the One who sets me free
You will find me at the feet of Jesus

Songwriter: STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN
© BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group


Lenten Meditations – Week Five

As we continue our Lenten journey together, we turn our hearts to think of Jesus’ disciples and the struggles they encountered trying to understand how they fit into Jesus’ earthly ministry. They left behind everything to follow Jesus. What is our role in that ministry today? Take some time this week to listen for your own call. What do you have to offer in the name of Christ to others? I pray that we do not go away grieving…for we, too, have many possessions.


Sunday, March 31 – Fourth Sunday of Lent
Mark 10:17-22. The Rich Man
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ “ He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.


Monday, April 1 – Nothing Can Trouble
Words: St. Teresa de Jesus; Taize Community
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble, nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.


Tuesday, April 2 – Live in Charity (Ubi Caritas)
Words: 9th Century Latin (I Cor. 13:2-8)
Live in charity and steadfast love,
Live in charity; God will dwell with you.


Wednesday, April 3 – Sing and Be Not Silent
Psalm 30:4-5, 11-12 – Music by Mary McDonald
Sing to the Lord and be not silent.
Sing to the Lord and glorify!
Sing to the Lord, all ye His children.
Sing to the Lord, O Most High!

Give thanks to Him and be not silent.
Give thanks to Him and magnify!
Sing to the Lord all ye His children.
Sing to the Lord, O Most High!

©1989 Word Music, LLC (ASCAP)


Thursday, April 4
Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing.
Thou hast girded me with gladness,
For His anger is but a moment,
His favor endures for a life.

He comes with joy to greet the morning,
He gives us hope for each new day.
Give thanks remembering His Holiness.
Give thanks to Him with songs of praise.


Friday, April 5 – Give of Your Best to the Master (Cokesbury #187)
Music & Lyrics: Mrs. Charles Barnard
(2nd Verse) Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart;
Give Him first place in your service,
Consecrate every part.

Give and to you shall be given;
God His beloved Son gave;
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have.
Action: Make a donation to honor someone in your life.


Saturday, April 6
O God our deliverer, you led your people of old through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide now the people of your church, that, following our Savior, we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.


Lenten Meditations – Week Four

As we continue our Lenten journey together, we turn our hearts to reflect on Jesus’ encounter with young children. This past Sunday, March 17, we experienced the Baptism of a little four-year-old girl. I was especially touched by Will’s “negotiation” with her to allow her mother to hold her while Will performed the actual laying on of hands. Will is a big man, and I’m glad he knows that he might be scary to little ones. We don’t know anything about Jesus’ physical size, but we do know from this week’s scripture that he wanted to have contact with little children and to bless them. Pray that you will always be open to having little children in your life and be a blessing to them.


Sunday, March 24 – Third Sunday of Lent
Mark 10:13-16. Jesus Blesses Little Children
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.


Monday, March 25 – Children of the Heavenly Father – UMH#141
V. 1 – Children of the heavenly Father
Safely in his bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.


Tuesday, March 26 – Children of the Heavenly Father – UMH#141

V. 2 – God his own doth tend and nourish;
In his holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things he spares them;
In his mighty arms he bears them. 


Wednesday, March 27 – Children of the Heavenly Father – UMH#141
V. 3 – Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord his children sever;
Unto them his grace he showeth,
And their sorrows all he knoweth.


Thursday, March 28 – Children of the Heavenly Father – UMH#141
V. 4 – Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.


Friday, March 29
Here are the words of our vows as a congregation for each child who is baptized into our church family. How are you living up to these promises? Focus on the verbs.
Pastor: Will you nurture one another in the Christian faith and life and include these persons now before you in your care?
Congregation: With God’s help we will proclaim the good news and live according to the example of Christ.
We will surround these persons with a community of love and forgiveness, that they may grow in their service to others.
We will pray for them. That they may be true disciples who walk in the way that leads to life.
Action: Make a date to have a meal with a child in your life.


Saturday, March 30
O God our deliverer, you led your people of old through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide now the people of your church, that, following our Savior, we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.


Lenten Meditations – Week Three

As we continue our Lenten journey together, we turn our hearts to think of Jesus’ disciples and the struggles they encountered trying to understand how they fit into Jesus’ earthly ministry. They left behind everything to follow Jesus. What is our role in that ministry today? Take some time this week to listen for your own call. What do you have to offer in the name of Christ to others?


Sunday, March 17 – Second Sunday of Lent
Mark 9:38-41. Another Exorcist
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will be no means lose the reward.”


Monday, March 18 – I Surrender All, UMH#354
V. 1 – All to Jesus I surrender; all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.
Refrain
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.


Tuesday, March 19 – I Surrender All
V. 2 – All to Jesus I surrender, humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken; take me, Jesus, take me now.


Wednesday, March 20 –  I Surrender All
V. 3 – All to Jesus I surrender; make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit, truly know that thou art mine.


Thursday, March 21 – I Surrender All
V. 4 – All to Jesus I surrender; Lord, I give myself to thee;
Fill me with thy love and power; let thy blessing fall on me.


Friday, March 22 –  I Surrender All
V. 5 – All to Jesus I surrender; now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory to his name!
Action: Clean out a drawer. Donate some of the items. If you find an item that brings back a special memory about someone, give them a call and thank them for being in your life.


Saturday, March 23
O God our deliverer, you led your people of old through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide now the people of your church, that, following our Savior, we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.


Lenten Meditations – Week Two

As we continue our Lenten journey together, we turn our hearts to think of all that Jesus endured during his forty days in the wilderness. This time was filled with solitude, fasting, and temptations greater than any that we ever face. His response to those temptations helped him to face many of the problems he encountered in his ministry. Just as Satan began temptations with “If you are the son of God…” People were constantly asking him for proof of who he was.


Sunday, March 10 – First Sunday of Lent
Mark 8:11-13. The Demand for a Sign
The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation. And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.


Monday, March 11 –  Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days – UMH#269
V. 1 – Lord, who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with thee to mourn our sins
And close by thee to stay.
V. 2 – As thou with Satan didst contend,
And didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
In thee to conquer sin.


Tuesday, March 12 – Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days – UMH#269

V. 3 – As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
So teach us, gracious Lord,
To die to self, and chiefly live
By thy most holy word.
V. 4 – And through these days of penitence,
And through thy passion tide,
Yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.


Wednesday, March 13 – Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days – UMH#269

Abide with us, that so,
This life of suffering over past,
An Easter of unending joy
We may attain a last.


Thursday, March 14 – O Lamb of God
Text: Anon.
O Lamb of God Who gave Thyself for me;
Now in my heart, I give myself to Thee.
Teach us to know and keep Your ways, O Lord;
That we would hold Thy wondrous Name adored.
Forgive us, Lord, and grant with prayer and praise,
That we may come to love You all our days.


Friday, March 15 – Psalm 130:1-2
Out of the depth I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications!
Action: If possible, go outside. Spend some time in the wilderness. Go on a hike. Think of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. Search online for a photo of the wilderness west of the Jordan River.


Saturday, March 16
O God our deliverer, you led your people of old through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide now the people of your church, that, following our Savior, we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.


Lenten Meditations – Week Two


Wednesday, March 6 – Ash Wednesday. Join us in Ash Wednesday worship at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. 
Concerning Prayer: Matthew 6:5-6
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”


Thursday, March 7 – Lord, Jesus, Think on Me
Lord, Jesus, think on me,
And purge away my sin;
From earthborn passions set me free,
And make me pure within.

Lord, Jesus, think on me,
Amid the battle’s strife;
In all my pain and misery
Be Thou my health and life.

“Lord Jesus, Think on Me” – ©St. James Music Press, 2015. Lyrics – Synesius of Cyrene (c. 370-c.414). Trans. A. W. Chatfield, 1876


Friday, March 8 – Lord, Jesus, Think on Me
Lord, Jesus, think on me,
Nor let me go astray,
Through darkness and perplexity,
Point Thou the heavenly way.

Lord, Jesus, think on me,
That when this life is past,
I may eternal brightness see,
And share Thy joy at last.

“Lord Jesus, Think on Me” – ©St. James Music Press, 2015. Lyrics – Synesius of Cyrene (c. 370-c.414). Trans. A. W. Chatfield, 1876

Action: Call someone who has recently suffered the loss of a loved one. Let them know that you are thinking of them.


Saturday, March 9
O God our deliverer, you led your people of old through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide now the people of your church, that, following our Savior, we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen. UMH#268