Lenten Devotional: Saturday, March 30

Psalm 87Psalm 90Psalm 136Jeremiah 13:1-11Romans 6:12-23John 8:47-59

O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:26

In his 1933 novel, British author James Hilton described a fictitious place called Shangri-La. Shangri-La has become a metaphor for an earthly paradise but particularly associated with an isolated Himalayan utopia, where life is simple, tranquil and unpolluted by the outside world.

Shangri-La arises from a projection of our own longing for a different life in a remote place. Instead, perhaps we should look for verdant meadows, sinuous paths and flowing streams where we are. The presence of God powerfully moves between us and continually lights our daily world, here and now, if we still our mind and open our hearts.

Thank you, God, for patches of wild flowers that unexpectedly appear on a gentle meadow, where we can renew our strength, take a respite, or do a cartwheel. I vow to be a responsible steward of my environment, here and now.

Thank you, God, for the multicultural kaleidoscope of life, where we share, sing and pray in different languages, yet are interconnected into one humanity. I vow to love and respect my neighbors, here and now.

Thank you, God, for guiding us through turbulent waves of division and uncertainty, where people continue to inflict harm through physical, structural and cultural violence. I vow to be a healer in this fractured world and a builder of Beloved Community, here and now.

Every day, I open with joy all the free gifts from God. I vow to express my gratitude through words and actions, here and now.