LENT: a holy human shape
Calm me into a quietness
And molds my longings
Into a more holy
(Prayer poem by Ted Loder)
Reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10 and John 14:1-14
- In Peter’s letter to Christians he utilizes different images and descriptive terms to develop and encourage faith as circumstantial trials hit us in concrete ways. What do the images and descriptive terms convey to you? How do they foster an imagination for your identity and spiritual growth in God; your security in this life and the next? Which image or term speaks to you? Why?
- From Peter’s exhortation, what do you find most challenging to connect with or live into? What do you find most comforting and assuring?
- Settle deeply into Jesus’ words to his followers (John 14:1-14). Read the passage through a couple of times. How do his words affect you? What invitation do you sense God presenting to you with regard to your own particular circumstantial or internal struggles? Discuss these things with God.
- Sit with Jesus for a while. Receive from him as you meditate on his words of life and peace. Peter had stated that we have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:3) How did that look for you in the past? Now, linger with God and taste and see that the Lord is good. What does this look for you today?
Reading: 1 Peter 2:19-25 and John 10:1-10
- Begin by listening to the Good Shepherd’s voice from our Gospel reading in John 10:1-10. What encouragements do you hear? What assurances can you grasp and cling to? What care for your soul might you receive from Jesus today as you listen to the way he describes himself as your Shepherd and life-giver?
- Peter expands the metaphor of the Good Shepherd to Guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:25). What does the picture of a guardian convey to you? How does it broaden your understanding of the kind of care Jesus invites his friends into? Considering your own past life experiences, how has Jesus’ guardianship of your soul been realized in your life? Were their times or circumstances you felt abandoned or unattended to? Take a few moments to talk honestly to God about these things.
- Now, consider your current circumstances or inner posture and attitude. What are you presently experiencing externally (with work, family, personal life) and internally (stress, anger, frustration, pressure, duress or a low grade worry)? What do you do when you sense yourself suffering? Who do you turn to for help in trials?
- How does Peter’s view of suffering help you process and think about your own sufferings (1 Peter 2:19-25)? Peter points to Jesus in order for us to gaze upon his stripes, his wounds, his suffering. Take a few moments in silence to focus your gaze upon Jesus. What do his wounds, his sufferings say to you? Ask him for help in your trials, comfort in your sorrows, or a change of perspective in your circumstances that you might bear up under the stresses of this life…even as Jesus bore his cross and endured his sufferings.