Welcome on this Lenten journey!
Lent takes us on the path of remembrance, reflection, and repentance. When we open ourselves up to the invitation that God sends to us, we may find that we are transformed and deepened in faith and love.
Each week we invite you to really spend your week meditating, praying, using this as a guide on this journey… take some quiet time throughout the week to center yourself, putting God IN that center, with all of the hope and grace that Jesus’ resurrection brings.
LENT WEEK FIVE!
What do we celebrate this week?
In prayer, we lift up our hearts to the Lord. We express our praise and gratitude, we present our needs, and we open our hearts, surrendering to God's will. Spend your time celebrating God in ways that will fill you with joy. See what you can come up with!
What do we lift up to God for help in prayer this week?
This week we ask for God to open His arms even wider for those who need His love the most right now. Some people do not even realize just how much they need that love and grace that is offered out. We pray for hearts to be open to receiving that love.
Pray for the needs in your own life, as well. Spend as much time as you are able in prayer for help, healing, and love.
Almighty and loving God, You invite us deeper into Your world, Your people, Your Lent. YOUR SON. May this time be one of outward focus; seeking You in those we often ignore.… Looking through Your eyes to see what You see to guide us through. In Your name we pray these things, Amen
Scriptures for the Week
From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
To the leader: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall never be shaken.
How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.
They take pleasure in falsehood;
they bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse.
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honour;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Those of low estate are but a breath,
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion,
and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all
according to their work.
Week FIVE: PHOTO OPP:
What do you see in God’s Creation that will make you reflect on the wonder that is God. Each week try to capture a photo so that you can go back and look at it when you’re having some just you time with God, or doing your Lenten Devotions, or whenever you need to look at something that God has created and not something man-made.
Flowers Show us God’s Beauty and Joy
Springtime means we will begin to see Flowers. Flowers growing in the spring make our hearts and minds “bloom” with an awareness of the beauty of God’s creation all around us that we can see being born again. The wonder of flowers reminds us that God is the ultimate gardener. God formed the first human being out of soil (Genesis 2:7) – the same environment that sustains flowers. He loves to see us grow and bloom, just like the flowers.
Jesus enables that to happen with our relationship with him. He compares himself to a flowering plant in our scripture from last week… he says, “I am the true vine and my father is the gardener and “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.
Jesus was resurrected from a garden tomb, redeeming us after all that had happened in the Garden of Eden.
All flowers have short lives. They bloom briefly, only to die soon afterward. Yet God sees value in the wonder of all creation – even a flower. The Bible compares people to flowers numerous times and describes God’s care for both: “Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith!” (Luke 12:27-28)
Flowers are living reminders of the beauty of God’s love for creation, and the wonderful joy we can experience when we’re connected to him.
Collect your photos of buds and flowers! If it’s too soon for some outside you can get them later or take them other places, like the store for now. A close-up of a flower is always pretty and you can imagine it’s from the outdoors.
Go for a walk together – whenever you’re able to go. Make a game out of looking for new buds coming out – whether from the ground or on trees. If you can’t see any yet this week, try again until you can! See how many you can find – you can even see who finds them first.
God’s creation is amazing! Take turns telling a create your own story about nature and the flowers and plants and trees and rocks and water. Once upon a time…