Week 1: Agony in the Garden
When Jesus goes to Gethsemane to pray He asks the disciples to go with him and to stay awake. Jesus knows the disciples will not be able to stay awake, He knows what He is facing, and yet He continues on the journey. Let us begin this Holy Season of Lent aware that there is no deception possible between us and God.
We learn we can be honest with God when we read, that Jesus asked his Father, “if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done." In times of depression, when betrayal and cruelty are too much to bear, we can remember how Judas betrayed Jesus. There will be times when we will not want to follow God’s way—and we need not pretend.
As we read the prayers and suggested actions let us remember that no agony can separate us from Jesus and His mission to save us.
Day 1, Ash Wednesday: We are Known
Day 2, Thursday: We are Released
Day 3, Friday: We are Chosen
Day 4, Saturday: We are Rescued
1st Sunday in Lent
Focus Verse: Day 1 – Known by God (Adapted from Psalm 139 (A Psalm of David).
Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and are intimately acquainted with all of my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, Oh Lord, you know it all! Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? You formed my inward parts and created me in my mother’s womb. I give thanks to you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. In your book were written ahead of time all the days ordained for me, even before one of them passed. Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in your everlasting way. Amen
Because the divine became fully human, we know that He fully comprehends all aspects of our human frailties, especially our propensity to sin. There is nothing that we can hide from Him, and yet He loves us anyway.
1. Reflect on what it means to be truly known by God to the core of your being. Does this knowledge influence your attitude as you approach Him in prayer?
2. What do the prayers for this week tell you about the nature of man? What do they tell you about the nature of God?
3. What is your personal response to being known, released, chosen and rescued by God?