Lenten Devotional: April 10

Psalm 51: 1-20; Psalm 69: 1-23;
Jeremiah 12:1-16
; Philippians 3:1-14; John 12:9-19

1Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12

As we move into Holy Week, we are called even deeper into our hearts to contemplate the coming Passion of love, sacrifice, and glory. Recently I have come to see our own cycle of birth, life in conflict and grace, death, and redemption represented many times in biblical stories. I can see this cycle in the development of the Universe, in predator-prey relationships in the animal kingdom (the death of one feeds the other), and our own continual growth through conflict. Jesus is always willing to heal those who desire healing; his only condition is that the individual must be vulnerable and trusting to the message.

This season I have been working to identify areas where I do not trust, where I keep God out, where I am angry or fearful and not open to the flow of love that is available to me from God. Because it is easy for me to close off and be angry or affronted, I like to see these verses of Psalm 51 to remind me to quiet myself and open my heart. I need to work on equilibrating the tension between wanting to fix and judge the big problems in the world, and my ability to impact only the smaller, more local problems. As Richard Rohr says: There’s no seeking of power over in the Trinity, but only power with—a giving away, a sharing, a letting go, and thus an infinity of trust and mutuality. This year, I try to open my heart to let go and feel the spirit of the Trinity, to hear what the Lord is calling me to do.