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A Gift

For
You
Lenten
Devotions for
2005
Jesus Speaks to His Mother
and the Disciple
Who, on Christ’s dear mother gazing,
Pierced by anguish so amazing,
Born of woman, who would not weep?
Who, on Christ’s dear mother thinking,
Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
Would not share her sorrows deep?1

1
Anonymous, 13th Century, Service Book and Hymnal: Authorized by the Lutheran Churches
cooperating in The Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, Augsburg Publishing House,
Minneapolis, MN, 1958.
Jesus, may her deep devotion
Stir in me the same emotion,
Fount of love, Redeemer kind,
That my heart, fresh ardor gaining
And a purer love attaining,
May with Thee acceptance find.
Amen.2

2
Anonymous, 13th Century, Service Book and Hymnal: Authorized by the Lutheran Churches
cooperating in The Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, Augsburg Publishing House,
Minneapolis, MN, 1958.
Mo nday, March 21
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister,

Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:25b.

At a previous Passover, Jesus had fed not greatest need. We often feel that we
only his disciples but also five thousand would never abandon anyone, much less
other men with five loaves of barley bread Jesus. But if history is any guide, we
and two fish. After this sign on the would be like all the others and we would
mountain, the people proclaimed that have fallen away after we have been fed
Jesus was the predicted prophet. Now at from Christ’s table.
the Cross, Jesus is
down to the four A prophet that gives us our
followers: His daily bread is someone
mother, His aunt, that would be easy to
Mary follow because all we would
Magdalene, and have to do is to be in the
the disciple that right place when the free
He loved. food is handed out.
Nothing else would be required of us. We
Many of us would like to think that we would only have to do is come and eat.
would be there at His feet during His What could be better than that?
cause us to stop what we are doing, and
Jesus has a different agenda. He is not then to follow Him.
just a miracle worker. He is the One
whose actions point clearly to God. In Every one falls short of this goal of
everything that He did, Jesus gave God always giving God the glory. There are
the glory. He wants all that we do, many reasons why this happens, but it
including our death to always seems that we want
glorify God. Jesus never to push God away so that we
asks us to give only can have our own way.
one-tenth of what we Despite our behaviors that
have back to God. Jesus move God out of our sight,
gave everything to God’s God loves us and has sent
glory and He expects us His only Son into the world
to do the same. Every to save us.
one of these actions
should make us see God,

Dear Jesus, when you were experiencing the worst day in history Your concern was
for Your earthly family. Help me to show the same love for my family here and
now. May I be a reflection of you. Amen.
Tuesday, March 22
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said

to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your

mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. John 19:26-27.

After giving His disciples the followers are different since they love
commandment that followers of Christ each other.
should love each other as Christ has loved
us, Jesus once again puts this Law into Giving our love to others is never an easy
action. On the Cross, in the midst of task because true love takes work. The
excruciating pain, Jesus takes the time to disciple will have to find room in his
love. Once again, Jesus illustrates God’s house for Mary. Anther place will need
Passion for the entire universe. to be set at the table. The disciple will
have to care for Mary’s deep hurts that
Jesus is concerned about His mother’s were caused by her Son’s death on the
well being and He knows that one of His Cross. Mary’s long-term care will need
disciples can be trusted to take care of to be arranged. The disciple never asked
His mother. Not only is this a practical for this load, God gave it to the disciple.
concern about His mother’s future but
also this command to take care of Mary In many ways, we could view our service
shows everyone who looks that Christ’s to others as being a burden. In the Gospel
of our Lord according to orders much easier.
John, Jesus never tells us Instead of only telling us
that this type of love will to do something without
be a liability. Instead, giving us the resources,
Jesus reminds us that this which are needed to
is our job. We are expected accomplish the task God
to take care of others since gives us everything that
we are God’s slaves and we need. The entire power
slaves are to do what they of God is behind us when
are told. He tells us to love others
as Jesus first loved us.
God’s Passion for creation
makes this difficult task of following

Dear Jesus, You showed love for Your mother, even when dying. May I be able to
honor and love my family and parents. You designed us for family life and may we
bless that union by showing love all the days of our life. Amen.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
Be near when I am dying
O show Thy Cross to me!
And, for my succor flying,
Come, Lord, to set me free.
These eyes, new faith receiving,
From Thee shall never move;
For he who dies believing
Dies safely in They love.
Amen.3
3
Ascribed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153, Service Book and Hymnal: Authorized by
the Lutheran Churches cooperating in The Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, Augsburg
Publishing House, Minneapolis, MN, 1958.
Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the Blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.4

4
Anonymous, 18th Century, Service Book and Hymnal: Authorized by the Lutheran Churches
cooperating in The Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, Augsburg Publishing House,
Minneapolis, MN, 1958.
Wednesday, March 23
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the

afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Luke 23:44.

The purpose of the temple’s curtain was to parent’s house whenever they want. They
insure a clear demarcation between the do not need permission to go home.
Creator and the created. This division Follower can only enter another’s home
between the holy and the unclean was when they are invited in. Children
necessary to protect humanity for if we know the rules of their parents because
crossed the line that divided us from they have been continually taught what
God, then we would surely die. to do. Followers only know what they
have been told. Children have an
In the old world order, God is God and we inheritance. Their parents’ blessings
are His people. Jesus has a radical belong to them. Followers on the other
change to this plan since He has taught hand only have what is given to them.
us that His believers are children of God.
The tearing of the temple’s curtain before
Children have a completely different set the death of Jesus was not to indicate to
of rules as compared to people who are the world that God was now with us
followers. Children can go into their because Jesus had been with people for His
entire life. The ripping of the thick cloth taught His followers God’s rules and we
from the top to the bottom was not to tell know what is required of us. God has
us that everything about God has been given us His inheritance of everlasting
made clear to us since God is a mystery life. When this last division between
that we can never God and us was taken
understand. down by God, it is as if
God is doing a bit a
Instead, God’s action spring-cleaning and is
shows us once again that removing the last thing
we are His children. In that separates us from
other words, God approves enjoying the Lord’s
our adoption into God’s house.
family. There is no place
that we cannot go because
every place is God’s house. Jesus has

Dear Jesus, just like the curtain in the temple being torn in tow, may the pressure
of sin be removed from me. How grateful to have my sins torn away and be able to
commune with my Savior without sin being in the way. Amen.
Thursday, March 24
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my

spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46.

Just like when Adam was created by God, breath. We do things that God would
when God forms each of us from the never approve of. We take God’s name in
ground’s dust, God breaths into our vain. We tell lies. We bear false witness
nostrils God’s against
Jesus, all Thy labor vast,
Spirit, who is our
the breath of All Thy woe and conflict past; neighbor.
life; only We are
then do we Yielding up Thy soul at last: not
become alive. blessing
This Hear us, holy Jesus – God and
inspiration is God’s
Thomas Benson Pollock, 1836-1896, Service Book and
a gift to every creation.
Hymnal
human who While all
has ever lived. of these things hurt God, others, and
God’s creation, each of these actions are
Unfortunately, some of us forget that especially hurtful to God since we are
every breath we take is actually God’s using God’s breath to commit sin.
we take is a pure gift of grace since God
Jesus showed us through His life the could at any time refuse to give us His
correct way to use God’s inspiration. gift of the Spirit. During our lives, God
Using His voice, He taught us about gives us the breath of life and we should
God’s love for creation. God’s Spirit was take that gift and give it away to others,
in Him as he showed us how to live. And just like Jesus did. We should teach
then on the tree of death, others about God’s love for
Jesus acknowledged God’s the universe. We should
gift to each of us by live a life devoted to the
giving His last breath to care of others. And when
God. we take that last breath,
we should remember God’s
The world would be goodness to us.
different if each of us
recalled God’s gift of the
breath. Every breath that

Dear Heavenly Father, what a comfort to call upon You and be assured that you are
there for me. Renew my spirit so that I will be pleased to call you all the days of
my life. Amen.
Jesus is Placed in the To m b
When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,


Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.5

5
Isaac Watts, 1707, The Hymnal and Order of Service: Authorized by The Evangelical Lutheran
Augustana Synod, Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, IL, 1925.
When no eye its pity gave us,
When there was no arm to save us,
He His love and power displayed:
By His stripes He wrought our healing,
By His death our life revealing,
He for us the ransom paid.6

6
Jacobus de Benedictis, 13th Century, The Hymnal and Order of Service: Authorized by The
Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, IL, 1925.
Good Fr i d a y, March 25
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was

also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate

ordered it to be given to him. Matthew 27:57-58.

Here on Good Friday, we once again from the Scriptures and through His life
remember what God He gave us
has done for us, examples of how
what we have done to we are to do what
God, and the God wants.
mysteries of our
faith. We did not want
to see how to live.
God wanted to show God’s death has
us how we are to live, been directly
so God sent His only caused by our
Son into the world so actions. We are
that He could the ones who
illustrate that way killed the Lord’s
of life for us. Jesus messenger. We
learned God’s will are the ones who
deserve to be punished since we wanted to continued without God there to guide it.
have our own idols instead of trusting in Another mystery, professed by the
the real God. Church, is found in the words of the
Apostle’s and the Athanasius Creeds.
One of the mysteries is that we are here After His suffering and death, Jesus did
after God’s death. not go to heaven but instead He
The entire universe went to hell. There is no place
should have gone out that Christ has not been.
of existence since the
One who brought it May the Lord God have mercy
into being has died. on us for our actions against
We do not know how His Son our Lord and Savior!
the cosmos

Dear Father in heaven, I want to be like Joseph and step forward with boldness.
May I have the courage to see what needs to be done and then act upon it. Amen.
H o ly Saturday, March 26
So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new

tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the

tomb and went away. Matthew 27:59-60.

God is placed in the tomb: out of sight, Armies would be brought together and
out of mind. they would protect the government.
Today, we would place that power in the
We feel that with God out of the way, we hands of multinational corporations.
will be able to rule the universe. Our These corporations would change
basic game plan is to give power to those whatever laws that any government has
who already have power. In ancient placed in their way. Today, they protect
times, this power would have been themselves by purchasing the best
concentrated in a few individuals. lawyers and lobbyists that money can
Rules would be made to keep these people buy.
in power. Small forces would be brought
together to insure protection of the God’s idea is radically different. Power
powerful. In later times, we would have is not to be served, power is not to be
placed this power in the government. concentrated, and power is not to be
Laws would be constructed to insure that protected. God’s view of the universe is
the government held all authority. one in which everyone is loved. This love
is found in each individual and in the In the past, we did not like this idea and
entire community. we persecuted and killed
God’s power is found in God’s people, prophets, and
service. Everyone is to Son. Today, we still
give their time and dislike this idea and we
talents to those in need marginalize God’s people to
and to the community the outer reaches of society.
at large. Power is not
kept in God’s hands, God is in the tomb: out of
instead God gives each sight and out of mind.
of us both the ability
and the power to go and
serve. Power is given away so that God’s
What will keep God there?
will may be done.

Dear Lord, what service I have fulfilled this week? Whom have I taken care of?
May I have pleasure in serving others and do it until the service is complete. I also
want to be aware of the ways I can give of my goods and time to you, O Lord.
Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria
To Thee before Thy Passion
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.
All glory, laud, and honor
To Thee, Redeemer King;
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.7
Ann Wofford – Prayers

Elaine Lenz – Crosses

The Winstons – Photography; Jody Winston – Writing

7
Theodulph of Orleans, circa 760-821, Service Book and Hymnal: Authorized by the Lutheran
Churches cooperating in The Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, Augsburg Publishing
House, Minneapolis, MN, 1958.
Prayers
Prayers