I will be honest I have struggled to stay up on my reading of the Gospels through Lent. I knew that I would at some point fall behind, but I was committed to try and read during Lent. Yesterday I realized I was almost a week behind. I had about an hour drive for something yesterday by myself and thought I should catch up. I am sure you all are thinking while you drive you shouldn’t be reading your bible. And you are right. Driving and reading is not a good a idea unless you want to really meet Jesus face to face.
Instead of reading I got on my Bible app (before driving) and had it read to me. I would not say it is my favorite way to read the scripture. I like to highlight and take notes but it is what I needed. So there I was in the car by myself and I got to the gospel of Mark. Over and over in the first few chapters where those words:
And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:9 (ESV)
We don’t always like to listen. I don’t like to listen. Life can get so busy that I forget to be in the word or prayer. I can get caught up in all the memes, social media, and life drama and miss Jesus speaking to me.
So are you listening to Jesus? As we make our way to the cross are we listening to Jesus. I hope as we journey toward the cross I don’t get this far behind again. My prayer for all of us is that we take the time to listen and hear through the power of the Holy Spirit what Jesus is saying to us today and always.
So I have made it a couple of days through my reading of the Gospels. I will be honest I have never been very good and being consistent with reading the scripture on a daily basis. So as I keep reading I pray God will continue to speak in these words to you and me. If you would like to journey by reading in this way don’t be afraid to start up.
If she could only touch his garment. Those words from Matthew 9:21-22 touched me this week.
Matthew 9:21-22 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
This story has always been one that gets to me. Here is a women who has no hope in anything but Jesus. As a women who bleeds she couldn’t go to the temple or be with God. She would have been an outcast in her community. She would have been an outcast and no one would have had any compassion on Her. All she had left was Jesus. In her head she says those words. If only I could touch him. Then I will be healed. Then I will be made well
I had two questions for us this week. Do you and I long for Jesus in this way? Do you and I think if I could just get to Jesus then my life might be different. I know for myself I try to fix it all on my own most of the time. I trust I can fix everything but when things get out of hand and things get beyond my skills and abilities I don’t always do this. I want to be someone to thinks, if I could only get to Jesus!
The second question to ponder this week is are you alone. Do you feel like no one has any compassion on your or care that you are here. Where are you on your journey? Are you at the point in your life where you just need Jesus. Are you at the point in your life where you feel you are an outcast or lost and it seems no one sees you are can help?
If you are in this place come to my friend Jesus. He has compassion on you and He can make you well.
As we read more over the coming weeks I pray we all see Jesus bring us who are outcasts and lost closer to Jesus. My prayer for all of you this week is that you will get to touch Jesus who has compassion on you.
Matthew 9:36 English Standard Version (ESV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
I have neglecting my time of reading God’s word far too much lately. This Lenten season I want to be in the Word and today I decided to read through the Gospels as part of my Lenten Journey. If you want to join me I will be sharing some thoughts through the week about what I am seeing and learning. You can also print off this PDF I made based on the break up of the readings. I pray you all can hold me accountable for reading God’s Word this Lenten season. Have a great day and may your Lenten Journey to the cross remind you of the great love Jesus has for you and me.
Lent Gospel readings 2020
Most of the time during lent people spend the day thinking about what they are going to be giving up for Lent. For me I have never really found that helpful for my spiritual formation. Giving up sweets makes me angry. Giving up chocolate would make me down right angry. Mostly I would be thinking all day about how I missed that food or thing I gave up. For me it doesn’t point me to Jesus. I want you all to know I don’t find anything wrong with giving something up for lent as it is certainly a spiritual discipline of fasting. Fasting is a time honored way of strengthening ones faith. For me however it has never been appealing or truly beneficial.
So today I decided to do something different. I decided instead of taking something away I am going to add something to my family’s life. We are going to spend the next 40 days reading through the Gospels. We are going to spend this time on the journey to the cross following Jesus’ journey to the cross. I know for me reading the scripture brings it alive. I am excited for this journey and would challenge you to think about it as well.
In the reading schedule I gave myself a day off because lets be honest having a day off is needed sometimes. Life can be crazy busy. I don’t need something else to give me more guilt for messing up. So below is the plan.
My goal this Lenten season is to journey to the cross with my Lord and Savior. My prayer is that many of you will join in this journey. Let us be in the Word together as we make this journey to the cross and see these great things he has done for us.
Lent Reading Plan: 2017
||Matthew 10-Matthew 12
||Matthew 13-Matthew 14
||Matthew 15-Matthew 16
||Matthew 17-Matthew 18
||Matthew 19-Matthew 20
||Matthew 21-Matthew 22
||Take a Break
||Matthew 23-Matthew 24
||Matthew 25-Matthew 26
||Matthew 27-Matthew 28
||Mark 1-Mark 3
||Mark 4-Mark 6
||Mark 7-Mark 9
||Take a Break
||Mark 10-Mark 12
||Mark 13-Mark 14
||Mark 15-Mark 16
||Luke 1-Luke 3
||Luke 4-Luke 6
||Luke 7-Luke 9
||Take a Break
||Luke 10-Luke 12
||Luke 13-Luke 14
||Luke 15-Luke 16
||Luke 17-Luke 18
||Luke 19-Luke 20
||Luke 21-Luke 22
||Take a Break
||Luke 23-Luke 24
||John 1-John 2
||John 3-John 4
||John 5-John 6
||John 7-John 8
||John 9-John 10
||Take a Break
||John 11-John 12
||John 13-John 14
||John 15-John 16
||John 17-John 18
||John 19-John 20
Tomorrow I get to lead chapel at my Church School. Tomorrow is ash Wednesday and that has me thinking deeply today. Many of the children who will be here will experience imposition of ashes. My prayer tomorrow is that many of our students will take the time in worship to remember their sin and more importantly be reminded of the eternal life won for us on the cross, and given to us in our baptism as we are connected to the cross.
I know many people don’t like the imposition of ashes because of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 about keeping our prayers and fasting to ourselves and not to show it off. Jesus is obviously right, and if the goal of ashes is to show the world we are repentant or how good of a Christian we are we have failed.
The purpose of the ashes placed on us is to remind us of our sin, remind us that without Jesus we are dust and without him we will continue to be dust forever. I love that in that moment. When we are brought to the realization of our brokenness. The part I think is more important and often overlooked is we are given the sign of the cross. The same sign we were given at our baptism. That this is not our end. We are not just dust but we are God’s child. We are the ones who are connected by baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection. You have eternal life today in Jesus and forever more. As we spend the next 40 days in a time of reflection on our sin we must not forget these two truths.
Tomorrow as you are reminded of your sin, and the death it brings, remember the life that comes in life with Jesus.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:21-6:2