Lent Prayer Guide, week 4

Week 4: The Cross of Christ Reconciles Us to One Another

Silence

Close your eyes and take five deep breaths.  In this moment of silent time, let your daily concerns fade into the background of your mind.

PrayPray the following slowly, intentionally, and in silence

Loving Creator,

I feel the pace quicken, the time draw near.

I am filled with anticipation as I move toward Easter

and the promised reconciliation with you.

And yet I know that as I am reconciled with you,

I must be reconciled with people.

Grant me the courage to reach out

To seek and give forgiveness.

Teach me to follow the example of Jesus.

Help me to live each day as he did,

turning hatred to love and conflict to peace.

I await the new life with eagerness, faith

and a deep gratitude.

Amen.

Read — Read the following passages slowly, intentionally, and aloud.

Matthew 27: 37-44

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

Colossians 1: 20

20 Through him God reconciled to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 

Reflect

  • There are three points of view in Matthew’s telling of this scene: the two rebels, those witnessing the crucifixion, and Jesus himself. Imagine the scene from each point of view.  How does it change the meaning?  Can you empathize with any, or all, of the characters?
  • In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is recorded as having prayed for the forgiveness of those who were mocking him. What does this mean about his ability to forgive you?

 

ReadRead the passages above again, aloud

 

PrayPray the prayer above again, intentionally, and now aloud

 

Action

What can you do, this week, to intentionally seek reconciliation with someone in your life?

 

About Lent: Lent is a season during which we remember the significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.   This guide is designed to be a guide for those who wish to wholeheartedly enter into the story behind Lent, just as Jesus’ disciples did.  You may have been following Jesus for decades.  You may have never set foot in a church.  At the foot of Christ’s cross, none of that matters.  All that matters is that God gave his only begotten Son to save the world.  To save this town.  To save you.

For the season of Lent, I’m going to pause my normal routine of summarizing and reflecting on the sermon, and offer this resource for guided prayer and scripture reading.  To use this guide, simply follow the instructions for each part, giving yourself enough time to absorb the content and enter in with your body, mind, and spirit.  

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