Date: Tuesday, February 20
Contributor: Jean Crow
Lectionary Link https://www.lectionarypage.net/WeekdaysOfLent/TuesdayFirstWeek.html
In today’s gospel by Matthew, Jesus teaches us how to pray. The Our Father is a prayer we are all very familiar with – sometimes too familiar, and not really thinking about the words as we recite them. I think it is helpful to read the Lord’s Prayer in different translations so when I pray the version I am familiar with, I think about it differently.
The Lord’s Prayer ~ Contemporary English Version
Our Father in heaven,
Help us to honor your name.
Come and set up your kingdom,
So that everyone on earth
Will obey you,
As you are obeyed in heaven.
Give us our food for today.
Forgive us for doing wrong,
As we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted
And protect us from evil
The Lord’s Prayer ~ New Living Translation
Our Father in heaven,
May your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
And forgive us our sins,
As we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
But rescue us from the evil one.
The Lord’s Prayer ~The Message
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best – as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
The Lord’s Prayer ~Good News Translation
Our Father in heaven:
May your holy name be honored;
May your Kingdom come;
May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
As we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
Do not bring us to hard testing,
But keep us safe from the Evil One.
The Lord’s Prayer, from Aramaic into Old English
Translation by G.J.R. Ouseley
Our Father-Mother Who art above and within:
Hallowed be Thy Name in twofold Trinity.
In Wisdom, Love, and Equity Thy Kingdom come to all.
Thy will be done, As in Heaven so in Earth.
Give us day by day to partake of Thy holy Bread, and the fruit of
The living Vine.
As Thou dost forgive us our trespasses, so may we forgive others
Who trespass against us.
Shew upon us Thy goodness, that to others we may shew the
In the hour of temptation, deliver us from evil.
Lord’s Prayer, from the original Aramaic Translation
Translation by Neil-Douglas Klotz
O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us – make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now
Through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
And sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
Feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots withing
So that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to each other.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
Date: Monday, February 19
Contributor: Kathy Ackerman
Lectionary Link https://www.lectionarypage.net/WeekdaysOfLent/MondayFirstWeek.html
Today’s Lenten readings focus on the topic of discipline. Through the collect and then the readings, we are given two different understandings of that very loaded word.
Being a bit of a word nerd, I went diving into several online dictionaries for the word’s etymology. The root of the word “discipline” is the Latin “diciplina” which means “instruction, knowledge” and is derived from “discere” – which is clearly the root word for our word “discern”. I also noted that “discipline” and “disciple” are etymological cousins.
However, apparently, in the 13th century, English speakers decided to use the word to refer to religious self-flagellation. (How they arrived at that usage is something I don’t know and don’t WANT to know). From there, it has morphed into its more common usage as “punishment” or “behaving and working in a controlled way that involves obeying particular rules or standards.” (tip of the hat to Collins Dictionary).
The collect reads, in part “mercifully increase in us your gifts of holy discipline, in almsgiving, prayer and fasting” which fits comfortably with Collins’ usage. (Whoever Collins might be).
But the readings are really about discipline in the earliest sense of the word – teachings. We start with Leviticus, which provides us with a list of “you shall not” but they are all focused on how we are treating our neighbors with generosity, mercy, and kindness.
That portion of Psalm 19 talks about “the law of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul.” Hm. Further “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold.” Again, it is not about harsh rule-making. It is about learning and growing and, yes, reviving the soul.
Finally, in Matthew, at first blush, it appears that we are back to our friend Collins’ definition – live your life a certain way. But notice that the “righteous” in this passage weren’t thinking about control or obeying any law. They were just living their lives as they understood and living in that law that revives the soul. They were – frankly – astonished to find that they were being awarded. (Kinda makes you wonder what the other side thought they were doing).
The end of the Psalm reads: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.” I suspect Jesus would add “and the works of my hands.”
Date: Saturday, Feb 17
Contributor: Ann Trapnell
One line really caught my attention in Psalm 86 from today’s readings: “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth.” This is a good representation of my Lenten Practice this year.
If you saw the documentary, “A Case for Love” based on our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s teachings, you probably know why studying his work is the basis for my current Lenten practice to Walk in God’s Truth – to walk in the Way of Love.
Our world often feels filled with divisiveness, hatred, and anger. Yet, I truly believe if we turn off social media, cable news and other emotionally charged sources of information – if we Go together and find others to Learn with, to Pray with, to Worship with, to Bless and be blessed by – we will likely find the love and positive human connection that we need to thrive as individuals and communities. And so, that walk is my current journey, my Lenten Practice this year.
Wherever your Lenten journey takes you, I hope you will find the time to learn from Bishop Curry and his work. I will be learning right alongside you – and I hope to make positive strides down the path toward the Way of Love.
Click here for a brief overview of the seven practices of the Way of Love: Turn. Learn. Pray. Worship. Bless. Go. Rest.
Date: Friday, Feb 16
Contributor: Joel and Leslie Norton
In Matthew 9:10-17, the theme of transformative change is vividly portrayed, making it a fitting focus for a Lenten reflection. The passage begins with Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners, an act that defies societal norms and religious expectations of the time. For Episcopalians, this scene is a powerful call to embrace change in our approach to community and fellowship. During Lent, a season marked by self-examination and repentance, we are invited to reflect on our own practices of inclusion. Are there individuals or groups we have excluded, perhaps even unintentionally, from our circle? Jesus' example challenges us to broaden our perspective, to rethink who we welcome at our table. This Lenten reflection offers an opportunity to reconsider our own attitudes and actions, striving to mirror the unconditional acceptance and love that Jesus demonstrates.
The second part of the passage, where Jesus discusses the need for new wineskins to hold new wine, further emphasizes the necessity of change. This metaphor is particularly resonant during Lent as it speaks to the readiness to undergo personal and spiritual transformation. Where is God calling us to change? As Episcopalians, this is an invitation to examine the 'old wineskins' of our lives—outdated beliefs, practices, or prejudices that no longer serve us or align with our spiritual growth. Lent provides a sacred space for this introspection, urging us to shed these old skins in favor of new, more flexible ones that can accommodate the growth and change God is nurturing within us.
As we journey through Lent, let us embrace this call to transformation, preparing our hearts and minds for the newness that comes with resurrection and the promise of Easter.
Date: Thursday, Feb 15
Contributor: Marilyn Baldwin
I recently saw a meme online that made me smile, and I shared it. A group of monks is gathered around the Buddha, and one asks the question, “Buddha, what makes us human?” The answer: “Selecting all images with traffic lights.” Now, that may qualify us as human online, but we know that there is far more involved than just that! No doubt, AI will soon learn how to “fake it” so it will cease to be a valid test.
The real test comes to us more often - and sometimes way too often. Decisions, decisions! We have been granted free will by our Creator, and God wants nothing more than to have us prosper as whole and healthy people, loving God and each other. “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live…”. Choosing life is for every decision we make, from the least significant to the most. Every part of our life depends on whether we make God our first choice, or somewhere farther down the line. Our life depends on it. Choose life, that you may live fully and abundantly.
Date: Wednesday, Feb 14
Contributor: Robert Allen
Today’s appointed Psalm 103 is Joyful, and has proclaimed for some 2 1/2 thousand years the benefits from the Lord.
"He pardons all my guilt and heals all my suffering” (verse 3).
"He surrounds me with constant love, with tender affection” (v. 4).
“he contents me with all good in the prime of life, and my youth
is ever new like an eagle’s” (v 5).
"He has not treated us as our sins deserve or requited us for our misdeeds” (v. 10).
Psalm 103 starts and ends with “Bless the Lord, my soul” (vs. 1 and 22), so in this spirit let us bless Lent at St. Christopher’s.