Posts tagged "Lent"

A Lenten Devotion: The Difficulty of Receiving and the Greatness of the Giver

A Lenten Devotion: The Difficulty of Receiving and the Greatness of the Giver

‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ Nehemiah 8:9-10

As the people weep and mourn for the sinful, law-breaking ways, Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites call the people to look no longer at themselves but…

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Lenten Jams, Pt III: Darden Smith’s “Field of Crows”

Lenten Jams, Pt III: Darden Smith’s “Field of Crows”

This reflection comes from Mbird contributor and friend, Malone Gilliam:

Happens to be one of those days (which is actually everyday)…. I start the morning on my elliptical trying to wage some kind of war against aging and weight gain. My efforts are more to stem the tide rather than take any ground. Halfway through my ‘sweat-fest,’ my iPod shuffles to Darden Smith’s song, “Field of Crows.”Even though it contains no inherently good news, for me it soothes like the Balm of Gilead. It simply and honestly laments the cruelty of the Law.

I have wanted to post on this tune…

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Of Wolves and Tax Forms: A Lenten Devotion

Of Wolves and Tax Forms: A Lenten Devotion

“There are wolves at my door, Father. Wolves that exist, and ones I imagine. They want to come in, and rend me.  They snuff at the foot of the door, and paw at the windows. This little hovel I fill threatens to give way to their press. I am never free from them, or from the worry of them. When I sleep, I run from them, and I feel their breath on my face. While I am awake,  I give myself over to thoughts of them. Some of them are real … sickness, pain, fear, hurry, rejection,…

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The Pink Prophet: A Lenten Reflection on Control

The Pink Prophet: A Lenten Reflection on Control

Thus says the LORD: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the LORD. 6 They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. 7 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay…

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Lenten Jams, Pt I: The Artist Sings His Calvary Song

Proving once again that if all he did was play guitar, he would still be a Prince among men:


11 The Cross – LoveSexy Tour Dortmund 1988 by samsarax

The Law and Gospel (of Lent) according to Chocolat

The Law and Gospel (of Lent) according to Chocolat

Much like the nation of Greece, the season of Lent is characterized by “austerity measures.” And while such devotion can be beautiful, Lenten observance can also border on piety for piety’s sake, or what we might call works righteousness. Please do not misunderstand me: I enjoy and value the season. Who of us wouldn’t benefit from setting aside time to reflect on the grace and mercy of God (and our need to repent)?

The tension between the need for mercy that defines Lent (in theory) and the works righteousness with which it has all too often become synonymous is the theme…

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A Lenten Reflection on the Isenheim Altarpiece

A Lenten Reflection on the Isenheim Altarpiece

Matthias Grunewald’s crucifixion, one of the panels of the Isenheim altarpiece, was commissioned for the church hospital of St. Anthony in Colmar France, which specialized in comforting those dying with skin diseases. Grunewald kept the background of this powerful piece of religious art intentionally dark to highlight the horrific scene: especially Christ’s smashed feet, his contorted arms, and twisted hands. The cross is bowed to demonstrate Jesus bearing the sins of the world. The most shocking part of the piece, however, is that Jesus also has a skin disease, and his loin cloth is the same as the wrappings worn…

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The Joy of Lent

The Joy of Lent

A sweet meditation from Psalm 32 on the huge release that comes from admitting what we are — and why Ash Wednesday is the happiest of days.

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,whose sin is covered.Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

While I kept silence, my body wasted awaythrough my groaning all day long.For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;my strength was dried up* as by the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,and I did not hide my iniquity;I said, ‘I will confess my…

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The Power and The Glory and Luke 19

The Power and The Glory and Luke 19

I was intrigued by a recent article in The NY Times entitled, “Mexican Church Takes a Closer Look at Donors,” which looks at the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico. Apparently it receives large donations from Mexican drug lords. It’s convicting for several reasons, and certainly made the ash on my head yesterday feel a little bit more real.

The first element I found convicting, especially during the season of Lent, was the idea of “an acceptable offering and sacrifice.” The article opens by pointing out that the Roman Catholic Chapel in Pachuca, Mexico has a plaque that honors its…

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Possibly Insane Thoughts on Ash Wednesday (Written on the Occasion of a Sleepless Night)

Possibly Insane Thoughts on Ash Wednesday (Written on the Occasion of a Sleepless Night)

A close friend of Mockingbird contributes the following reflection on the meaning of the day, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it is a welcome and considerably more profound alternative to the (admittedly irresistible) irreverence with which we’ve treated (the “public displays of piety” which characterize) Lent in past years. A touching and personal defense of the season, and today in particular, from an exceptionally sympathetic a point of view:

For those of us who came of age in certain fundamentalist or evangelical Protestant churches, life was a strangely disembodied affair. It is true that various sins of the flesh…

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The Origin of Every Clash That Takes Place Between People

The Origin of Every Clash That Takes Place Between People

A couple of never-been-bettered passages about the legal side of life from Paul Zahl’s Grace in Practice. As close as it gets to Mbird 101:

p. 6: But the law, no matter where it comes from, is always the law heard. I hear ‘you shall’ and ‘you shall not’ as adversarial. This is the key to understanding human psychology and human action. All ideals and all delineations of what is absolutely good are heard and understood as accusatory statements… Say what you will about its idealistic intent, about its being the ultimate ‘design manual’ for men and women, the…

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The Immoral Brother

The Immoral Brother

[The following is a Lenten Devotional piece I did for my school's Lenten Devotional (duh). It is based off of the readings for Wednesday in the second week of Lent (according to the 1979 BCP), specifically 1 Cor 5. I have decided to (and have finally gotten around to...yes, I am that slow) posting it here. We were asked to incorporated a small prayer at the end, which I've included in the post, for what it's worth.]

I read and am grateful that I’m not the object of Paul’s harsh words in 1 …

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