cross-lent-purple-drape-5LENT By Barbara Morgan

Lent: Forty days to follow Jesus’ example by resisting sin.
Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:19)
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:4)

Matthew: 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. *Though hungry, Jesus refused to turn stones to bread by saying, “Man shall not live on bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
*Jesus refused to test God’s favor by saying, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
*Jesus refused to accept the gift of all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor in exchange for worshiping the devil. Jesus said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

Sin: Not obeying the commandments of God (and about 613 laws from the Old Testament)

My Reflection
Forty Days is a long time for me to dwell on my sinfulness and remember I am dust.
I fall short, and I am feeling humbled beyond measure. And I feel sad, very sad.
But then I go to church, get on my knees, and ask for forgiveness.
I gain so much more at church than forgiveness.
Yes, I am thankful there is Easter. My Savior promises I am forgiven and I will someday be with Him in paradise. And then, I look around St. Nicholas church and see a miracle…. the tangible love and forgiveness of God in…..your faces.

Dear friends,
I would like for you to know that you are much more than dust to me. You are a warm handshake, a welcoming smile, an encouraging word, a much needed hug, the source of caring and compassion, a conduit for peace, the offer of bread and wine, the sound of praying, the sound of laughter, the voice of song, the face of an understanding and accepting friend. You are not dust to me. You are a miracle. Thanks be to God.
Sincerely written,
Barbara

 

Celtic Prayers:  Caim prayer (When I do not know what to pray)

submitted by Dianne Armstrong

When words get in the way and it seems impossible to focus, the

Caim or ‘encircling’ prayer can often be helpful.  Draw a circle

clockwise around yourself, using the right index finger as you say

the prayer; this symbolizes the encircling love of God.  (The

situation may make this physical action impractical; in which case see

the action in your mind’s eye as you pray.)  See yourself and

others encircled and be aware that the living God surrounds and

encloses with His love, care and protection.

The caim prayer can be adapted to many different situations

(for instance, with somebody recently bereaved). Sometimes a

particular form of the prayers that has beenfound to be helpful

can be written down for repeated use when praying again for the

same person or for another person in similar circumstances.

1.

Circle (name), Lord.

Keep (comfort) near

and (discouragement) afar.

Keep (peace) within

and (turmoil) out.

Amen

 

2.

Circle (name), Lord.

Keep protection near

and danger afar.

 

Circle (name), Lord.

Keep hope within,

keep despair without.

 

Circle (name), Lord.

Keep light near

and darkness afar.

 

Circle (name), Lord.

Keep peace within

and anxiety without.

The eternal Father, Son, and

Holy Spirit shield (name) on every side.

Amen

 

3.

The compassing of God be upon you,

the compassing of God, of the God of life.

 

The compassing of Christ be upon you,

the compassing of the Christ of love.

 

The compassing of the Spirit be upon you,

the compassing of the Spirit of grace.

 

The compassing of the Sacred Three be upon you,

the compassing of the Sacred Three protect you,

the compassing of the Sacred Three preserve you.

Amen