Posts tagged ‘Genesis’

February 15, 2013

843 Acres Lent: The Magnificat for All

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: The Magnificat for All
Readings: Genesis 48 (text | audio, 3:54 min)
and Luke 1:39-80 (text | audio, 4:32 min)

The Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Martin Luther: The Magnificat (a sermon excerpt)

This word Magnificat is used by Mary to indicate what her hymn of praise is to be about, namely, the great works and deeds of God, for the strengthening of our faith, for the comforting of all them of low degree, and for the terrifying of all the mighty ones of earth. We are to let the hymn serve this threefold purpose; for she sang it not for herself alone, but for us all, that we should sing it after her.

Now these great works of God will neither terrify nor comfort anyone unless he believes that God has not only the power and the knowledge, but also the willingness and hearty desire to do such great things. Nay, it is not even enough to believe that He is willing to do them for others, but not for you … That sort of faith is naught … You must rather … realize His will toward you, and firmly believe that He both will and is willing to do great things also to you. Such a faith has life and being; it pervades and changes the whole man; it constrains you to fear if you are mighty, and to take comfort if you are of low degree … How will it be with you [at] death? There you must needs believe that He has not only the power and the knowledge, but also the desire to help you. For it is indeed an unspeakably great work that must be wrought in order to deliver you from eternal death, to save you and make you God’s heir.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

How are you planning to anticipate the suffering and glory of Christ this Lenten season? Why? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

M’Cheyne Weekend Texts (our reading plan)
Sat, Feb 16: Gen 49 (text | audio) & Luke 2 (text | audio)
Sun, Feb 17: Gen 50 (text | audio) & Luke 3 (text | audio)

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February 14, 2013

843 Acres Lent: Prepared for the Lord

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: Prepared for the Lord
Readings: Genesis 47 (text | audio, 5:34 min)
and Luke 1:1-38 (text | audio, 5:24 min)

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold: Luke 1:11-17

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord … And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Charles Spurgeon: A People Prepared for the Lord (a sermon excerpt)

The fact is, dear friends, that to get men to come to Jesus just as they are, is not an easy thing. To get them to give up the idea of preparing, to get them prepared to come without preparing, to get them ready to come just as they are, this is the hardest part of our work, this is our greatest difficulty. If we came and preached to men the necessity of preparation through so many weeks of fasting during a long Lent, or through so many days of scourging and penitence, they would attend to us at once, for they would be willing enough to make any preparation of that kind; but, when we say to them, “Come just as you are now, with nothing in your hand to buy the mercy of God, with nothing wherewith to demand or to deserve it,” men want a great deal of preparing before they will come to that point. Only the grace of God, working mightily through the Word, by the Spirit, will prepare men to come to Christ thus, prepared by being unprepared so far as any fitness of their own is concerned. The only fit state in which they can come is that of sinking themselves, abandoning all idea of helping Christ, and coming in all their natural impotence and guilt, and taking Christ to be their all in all.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

How are you planning to anticipate the suffering and glory of Christ this Lenten season? Why? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

 ___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

[1] Note: If you would like to read more about the Daily Examen, see here.

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February 13, 2013

843 Acres Lent: A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Readings: Mark 16 (text | audio, 3:14 min)
and Genesis 46 (text | audio, 4:52 min)

The Resurrection of Christ: Mark 16:1-8

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up they saw that the stone had been rolled back – it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you in Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Henri Nouwen: A Cry for Mercy (an excerpt)

How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?

Yes, Lord, I have to die – with you, through you and in you – and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess. O Lord, I am self-centered, concerned about myself, my career, my future, my name and fame. Often I even feel that I use you for my own advantage. How preposterous, how sacrilegious, how sad! But yes, Lord, I know it is true … Your name has not led me to persecution, oppression or rejection. Your name has brought me rewards! I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

If you would like The Daily Examen emailed to you on weekday evenings at 9pm EST during Lent, sign up: here.

Lenten Community

How are you planning to anticipate the suffering and glory of Christ this Lenten season? Why? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

Ash Wednesday

Join us for Ash Wednesday at Calvary-St.George’s:

When: Tonight @ 6:30pm
WhereCalvary-St.George’s (Park Ave South @ East 21st)
What: Our founder, Bethany Jenkins, will be in the lobby with prayer cards for you. She’d love to meet you so look for our logo.
Post Q&A: After the service, join Bethany and the Rector, Jacob Smith, for an intimate Q&A in Anderson Hall.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

 [1] Note: If you would like to read more about the Daily Examen, see here.

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February 12, 2013

843 Acres Lent: A Lenten Fast

by Bethany

Lenten Morning

843 Acres Lent: A Lenten Fast
Readings: Mark 15 (text | audio, 6:02 min)
and Genesis 45 (text | audio, 5:10 min)

Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. Mark 15:37

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a season when many of us will anticipate the death and resurrection of Christ by fasting or abstaining from certain foods or activities for forty days. How should we think about fasting?

John Calvin wrote, “Let us define what fasting is; for we do not understand by it simply a restrained and sparing use of food, but something else. The life of the pious should be tempered with frugality and sobriety, so as to exhibit, as much as may be, a kind of fasting during the whole course of life. But there is another temporary fast, when we retrench somewhat from our accustomed mode of living, either for one day or a certain period, and prescribe to ourselves a stricter and severer restraint in the use of that ordinary food. This consists in three things: the time, the quality of food, and the sparing use of it. By the time I mean, that while fasting we are to perform those actions for the sake of which the fast is instituted … The quality consists in putting all luxury aside, and, being contented with common and meaner food, so as not to excite our palate by dainties. In regard to quantity, we must eat more lightly and sparingly only for necessity and not for pleasure.

“But the first thing always to be avoided is the encroachment of superstition … The first thing is constantly to urge the injunction of Joel, ‘Rend your heart, and not your garments,’ [1]; that is, to remind the people that fasting in itself is not of great value in the sight of God, unless accompanied with internal affection of the heart, true dissatisfaction with sin and with one’s self true humiliation, and true griefs from the fear of God; nay, that fasting is useful for no other reasons than because it is added to these as an inferior help. There is nothing which God more abominates than when men endeavor to cloak themselves by substituting signs and external appearance for integrity of heart.”

Lord, As we anticipate the final cry and breath of Christ, may we render our hearts, not our abstentions. Mark our entire lives with frugality and sobriety and, during this Lenten season, increase our hunger for you even more. Amen.

Lenten Evening

The Daily Examen

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes).
2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes).
3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes).
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes).
5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes).

Lenten Community

How are you planning to anticipate the suffering and glory of Christ this Lenten season? Why? Share your insights with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter (@theparkforum or #theparkforumlent) or commenting on our blog.

___________________________________

Ash Wednesday

Join us for Ash Wednesday at Calvary-St.George’s:

When: Tomorrow night @ 6:30pm
Where: Calvary-St.George’s (Park Ave South @ East 21st)
What: Our founder, Bethany Jenkins, will be in the lobby with prayer cards for you. She’d love to meet you so look for our logo.
Post Q&A: After the service, join Bethany and the Rector, Jacob Smith, for an intimate Q&A in Anderson Hall.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

[1] Joel 2:13

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February 11, 2013

Lenten Mornings and Evenings

by Bethany

M’Cheyne: Mark 14 (text | audio, 9:00 min)
and Genesis 44 (text | audio, 5:00 min)

Lenten Mornings: Our Lenten Project starts Wednesday. Like our Advent Project, our Lenten Project will feature guest contributors. Unlike our Advent Project, however, our Lenten Project contributors will be theologians from other centuries. Why? First, we want to avoid, what C.S. Lewis called, “chronological snobbery” – that is, thinking that the newest ideas are the best simply because they are the newest [1]. Second, these theologians have particularly wonderful reflections on Lenten values – that is, reflection, self-denial, temptation and suffering. Each morning, join us in reading our guest contributors on 843 Acres and the M’Cheyne Reading Plan passages.

Lenten Evenings: In the evenings, we invite you to join us in doing the Daily Examen, which is a form of prayer developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is intended to help Christians prayerfully reflect on the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction. Living in modern cities, many of us get distracted and forget that God is working in our daily lives. Thus, in 843 Acres, we will include daily reminders to reflect on these questions:

1. Opening prayer of invitation: become aware of God’s presence (2 minutes). Be still. Reflect on the day’s events in the company of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to guide this prayer.

2. Review the day with gratitude (3 minutes). Each day is a gift from God. Review your day in his presence. Note its joys, delights, sins, faults, etc. Consider the work you did, the people you encountered, etc. Pay attention to the details; God is in them.

3. Pay attention to your emotions (3 minutes). We detect the presence of the Holy Spirit in the movements of our emotions, but we may be unaware of them given our busy days. What feelings did you experience throughout the day – boredom, happiness, resentment, shame?

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it (5 minutes). Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to something that God thinks is particularly important – something unexpected, seemingly insignificant, etc. Pray about it. What might God want to teach you? Could he be affirming or convicting you?

5. Closing prayer: look toward tomorrow (2 minutes). God leads us daily. What did you learn today that you could apply tomorrow? What feelings do you have about tomorrow – doubt, joy, apprehension, anticipation? Turn these feelings into prayer. Seek God’s guidance, help and understanding. Pray for hope. [2]

Optional: Lenten Community: How did you see God working today? Share your insights from the evening or throughout the day with our community by commenting on our Facebook page (here) or tagging us on Twitter @theparkforum or using #theparkforumlent.

___________________________________

FAQs

How can I make a tax-deductible donation? Click here.
How can I get these devotionals in my inbox? Click here.
What is the reading plan this blog is based on? Click here.

____________________________________

Footnotes

[1] In God in the Dock, Lewis suggested, “Every third book you read should be outside your century.”  |  [2] Note: If you would like to read more about the Daily Examen, see here.

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