(Day Nineteen) Daily Lenten Devotional

Wednesday March 22nd (Day Nineteen)

Discerning the Effect of the Lord’s Sacrifice on Your Life

Jesus’ First Teaching on the Paschal Event, Mark 8:27-38

1. Come into God’s (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) loving presence. Feel God’s loving, healing gaze come over you. Offer yourself completely to God.

2. Silently sit before God for 10 minutes.

3. Read Mark 8:27-38 five times very slowly. The first time, simply and reverently read it, allowing God’s word to flow over you. The second time be aware of any verse word, phrase or concept that God is revealing to you as you read. Meditate silently for several minutes what the Lord has given you. During the third reading allow a prayer to formulate in your heart and offer that prayer to God. As the Scripture is read a fourth time, allow yourself to be drawn into the biblical scene as if you are living it right now. Be aware of any physical sensations, thoughts, or emotions that may arise. Journal your experience in detail. The fifth and final reading should be a reading of unknowing. Simply rest in the mystery of God’s presence and God’s Word, peacefully and with great joy.

4. Journal important aspects of the entire experience.

Read the following. You may use it as a guide or just food for thought:

When I ponder who Jesus is for me, I hear Love, Savior, Guide, a leader who I want to follow in a radical manner into eternity. I imagine myself following Jesus and I hear him speak of his death and resurrection. All I can see is the Lord’s love as he speaks these words. Paradoxically, as I sense this steadfast love I also sense the horror of what Jesus is saying. It is compelling, yet optional. I find myself asking “Gene, how are you going to respond to such love.” I quickly find myself overwhelmed by the realty that the Lord is giving himself for me! I feel sad that it had to come to this point. God’s love for me has become palpable. Nothing seems more important than a deeper exploration of God’s love for me and for the world. Yet there are barriers. I ask myself, what is stopping me from complete and total surrender? I ask the Lord to reveal to me my cross, which I wish to bear. I hear the Lord say “Gene, you know the false self that you have created and you have not as yet fully denied.” The cross you must take up, the cross that will lead to the death of the false self, the denial of the false self will be revealed to you by your True Self, created in God’s image. Allow this True Self to emerge and you will become fully surrendered. Then you will follow without barrier or effective hindrances. “Lord I am sorry for my contribution to all that separates me from you. I have come to follow; lead me wherever you want me to go. I will follow. I feel freedom and gratefulness and excitement for the journey ahead.

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