“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Luke 6:20-21 NRSV)
Welcome to the second monthly devotional of the Wesleyan Order of St. Francis. I hope that last month’s devotional was useful to you in your connection to God, as well as, your connection to your Sisters and Brothers who also participated in this spiritual practice. If you have any questions or comments about the devotional, or would like to help in the preparation for future devotionals, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “devotional” in the subject line. Feel free to comment on the end to this page about how this devotional has affected your walk with God, with any inspiration that has come to you in this time, or anything else that you would like to share. As with last month’s devotion, I strongly recommend that you take plenty of time to go through this study: do not rush through it, allow God to speak to you, as you respond to God. As the month goes on, come back to this place to reread the scriptures, to pray, and to refocus on what God is saying to you.
Let us first open with Laurence Hull Stookey’s prayer “For Help for the Forthcoming Day”:
Almighty and everlasting God, you have safely brought us to the beginning of this day. Defend us with your mighty power, and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, but that all our doings, ordered by your governance, may be always righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Number 681 in the The United Methodist Hymnal: Book of United Methodist Worship. (Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, 1989).
As we have committed this time and this space to the Triune God, let us turn to the Holy Scriptures to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those that wrote the scriptures, and in our lives today:
Matthew 22:34-40 NRSV:
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
We are almost a week into Lent. The ashes from last Wednesday have been long washed away, but let us keep the penitent heart that we shared on Ash Wednesday. Lent is often viewed as a time of personal spiritual renewal through fasting, studying, denying pleasures or vices, and other practices. In this upcoming season of personal growth and renewal, we should not stop at working to better ourselves; we need to work toward the renewal and growth of our sisters and brothers, especially with the marginalized, voiceless, and undervalued members of God’s creation.
I highly recommend that you take some time and listen to the sermon/lecture from Rev. Timothy Keller, the pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. It is approximately 45 minutes long, but it is well worth the listen.
As you reflect throughout this month, try meditating on Mark 9:37
“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
As you go forward this month and this Lenten season, take time to meditate on the importance solidarity, and how when we live as a single group of people, all of us children of God, we bring about the Kin-dom of God here on Earth.
Here are some scripture verses that may help you focus your meditations:
- Psalm 72:12-14
- Romans 13:8-10
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
- Zechariah 8:
As we close this study, please join me in the Prayer for Wanderers and Strangers
By: Education for Justice
Blessed are the wanderers and those adrift.
Blessed are the strangers at our door.
Blessed are the unfed, the homeless on the road.
Blessed is the child crying in pain.
Blessed is the mother looking frantically for her children separated on the journey.
Blessed are those who welcome Christ to be born again when they welcome these lost ones.
Blessed are we who struggle to make a place in our hearts for all of our brothers and sisters.