Day 5: Reconciled
Day 5 Focus: To be Reconciled by working through God’s Power and not my own.
Level 1: (5 Minutes) Yes, before praying we pause to notice how we are breathing. In a world that has a very short attention span, pausing sometimes needs to be relearned. So as we pause for 5 minutes, can we ask God to place on our hearts any area of reconciliation that we need to address, and then can we ask God how to approach this?
Level 2: (10 minutes) Do Level 1, then after Reading this daily scripture adaptation, take 5 minutes to discern what word or phrase catches your interest:
Adapted from Colossians 1:9-29. For this reason I pray all the time for both of us to ask that we may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that we may walk together in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please God in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing our knowledge of God; strengthened with all power according to God’s glorious might to attain steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Although we were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, Christ has now reconciled us through Christ’s death in order to present us before God as holy, blameless, without reproach, and complete in Christ. For this purpose we labor, striving according to God’s power, which works in a mighty way within us. Amen.
Today when I read, “For this purpose we labor, striving according to God’s power, which works in a mighty way within us,” I need to be reminded constantly that God does work in us, and while “free will” allows me to venture out on my own, I can freely choose to stay close to God.
Level 3: (15 minutes) In the weekly study guide, (which is located in our book, if you do not have the book, and would like a study guide let me know) the weekly focus is on how Jesus was beaten before he was crucified. This is an extremely difficult focus for me. I think causing pain to another person is one of the most horrific acts we do as human beings. One of the themes of atonement is that Jesus wanted to take the pain that we inflict on others into his own self rather than blame or shame. Jesus wants us to be reconciled with God AND WITH EACH OTHER. After pausing to breathe and reading the Scripture prayer, take 5 minutes to write down what it means to know God loves us that much.
Level 4: (30-60 minutes) I think it is worth repeating that a Beloved Community will affirm that God invites us to practice reconciliation. God showed us through the life of Jesus that weapons of death and violent words are not God’s way. Where in your life or in this world do you see anyone absorbing pain in order to allow someone else to be reconciled and free of shame? Is this a quality you value? Why or why not?
I am still asking for a little description about you, and/or reflections on what you are learning to share with the group. I will post some of the comments later today. Still exploring the possibility of a conference call for those who would like to participate. Ideas and suggestions and critiques are welcomed. God bless you on this Holy Lenten Journey.