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Week 4: Day 17

Week 4 of Lent

Day 17 Focus: Our Fervent Love Glorifies God

Level 1: (5 Minutes) Our focus for this week is on how Mary, the mother of Jesus, endures seeing her son unjustly accused and eventually executed. When you sit today to rest for five minutes, reflect on how quickly uninformed judgments and mob rule can destroy a person’s reputation. Ask God to show our Beloved Community how to be patient so we do not we rush to judgment of others.

Level 2: (10 minutes) Do Level 1. After Reading the scripture adaptation, take 5 minutes to concentrate on the part that speaks to you today.

Adapted from I Peter 4:7-11. Dear Lord, I ask to be of sound judgment and sober spirit in order to keep an open link with You through prayer. Above all keep me fervent in my love for others, because Your love covers a multitude of sins. Help me to be hospitable to others without complaint. Help me to recognize and acknowledge that each one has received a special gift and help me to encourage others to employ their gift in serving one another so that all will be good stewards of Your manifold grace. I pray that when I speak, let me speak utterances pleasing to You; when I serve, let me do so by the strength

that You supply, so that in all things You may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.Amen.

Level 3: (15 minutes) After pausing to breathe and reading the Scripture prayer and marking the part that speaks to you, write about your thoughts.

Level 4: (30-60 minutes) You may have noticed that the prayers in our book are written in the first person, and our emphasis is on each person forming a personal relationship with Jesus. This year I am trying to expand the concept by opening up the relationship to include forming Beloved Communities that understand how God wants us to love and will not pit us against each other. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. talked frequently about forming Beloved Communities. Certainly in 2018, forming this would be a worthy goal. So when I read, “I pray that when I speak, let me speak utterances pleasing to You; when I serve, let me do so by the strength that You supply,” I am convicted. It is so easy to be critical of people with whom we disagree. What can we do to show God’s fervent love to the world? How can we be united even if we see the world differently? How can we help people like Mary who watch their loved ones endure cruelty at the hands of ill informed and impatient people? What kind of restorative work could we do if “when we spoke, we only uttered words that were pleasing to God; and when we served, we did so by the strength that God supplies”?

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