Most Recent Lent Thoughts

Station XIV Jesus is laid in the tomb

Station XIV
Jesus is laid in the tomb

 
Mark 15:42-47 

It was toward evening when Joseph of Arimathea arrived. He was a respected member of the Council, who was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It was Preparation day (that is, the day before the Sabbath), so Joseph went boldly into the presence of Pilate and asked him for the body of Jesus.  Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. He called the army officer and asked him if Jesus had been dead a long time.  After hearing the officer’s report, Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.  Joseph bought a linen sheet, took the body down, wrapped it in the sheet, and placed it in a tomb which had been dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb.  Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where the body of Jesus was placed.
 
Revelation 21:1-5
 
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband.  I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne: “Now God’s home is with people! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God.  He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.”

Then the one who sits on the throne said, “And now I make all things new!” He also said to me, “Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.”

Prayer

Linen-wrapped
A body limp and dead
You lay entombed
And the stone sealed the entrance.
This dead time, this transition time,
A threshold from death to life renewed.
Silent God, let us not rush on to glory:
Help us linger with the knowledge
That this seeming defeat will vanquish the powers of destruction.
Help us hold on to hope and hear the whisper of love
Which will be born anew.
And let our waiting be active.
In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer 
and ever-present Spirit
Amen and amen.

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station XIV Jesus is laid in the tomb

Station XIII Jesus’ body is laid in his mother’s arms

Station XIII
Jesus’ body is laid in his mother’s arms

 

Luke 2:33-35 

The child’s father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon said about him.  Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against  and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”

Jeremiah 31:15

The Lord says,

“A sound is heard in Ramah,
    the sound of bitter weeping.
Rachel is crying for her children;
    they are gone,
    and she refuses to be comforted.

Prayer

A mother cradles her adult son,
His broken body spilling across
Her lap. She weeps and will not
Be consoled. At that point history
And ethnicity no longer matter:
All grief, all sorrow born of love,
Is the same sharp sword.
Are destruction and salvation the same thing?
Choosing God, gather all your children,
Show mercy. Bring healing and peace. Amen.
 

 

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station XIII Jesus’ body is laid in his mother’s arms

Station XII Jesus Dies on the Cross

Station XII
Jesus dies on the cross

 

Luke 23:46-47 

Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In your hands I place my spirit!” He said this and died. The army officer saw what had happened, and he praised God, saying, “Certainly he was a good man!”
 
Philippians 2:5-8 

The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:
He always had the nature of God,
    but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God.
 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,
    and took the nature of a servant.
He became like a human being
    and appeared in human likeness.
 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—
    his death on the cross.

Prayer

Humble God, arms outstretched in embrace 
Of the whole world,
As you died what was it the soldier saw in you
To call you ‘good?’
When death is commonplace, and safe places
Are targeted, and whole families wiped out
What difference does this death make?
You did not stay far off, God,
And your sordid death elevates each life
And all for Love’s sake. Amen.
 
 

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station XII Jesus Dies on the Cross

Station XI Jesus is nailed to the cross

Station XI
Jesus is nailed to the cross

 

Luke 23:33 

When they came to the place called “The Skull,” they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.

Genesis 22:6-8 

Abraham made Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice, and he himself carried a knife and live coals for starting the fire. As they walked along together,  Isaac spoke up, “Father!”  He answered, “Yes, my son?” Isaac asked, “I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide one.” And the two of them walked on together.
 
Prayer

What cross were you nailed to, Jesus?
The one meant to crush all opposition
And force fear into every heart?
Yet even on this instrument of torture
Between two criminals
There was grace and humanity.
Your own pain did not exclude
The other.
May all those crucified today in the name of security
Be named and recognized as children of God. Amen.
 

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station XI Jesus is nailed to the cross

Station X Jesus is stripped of his garments

Station X
Jesus is stripped of his garments

 

John 19:23-25
 
After the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it.  The soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it; let’s throw dice to see who will get it.” This happened in order to make the scripture come true:

“They divided my clothes among themselves
    and gambled for my robe.”
And this is what the soldiers did.

Standing close to Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
 
Job 1:20-21

Then Job got up and tore his clothes in grief. He shaved his head and threw himself face downward on the ground.  He said, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!”

Prayer

Stripped, naked, humiliated
Under hostile gaze.
The soldiers, inured to the horror
In their callous
Matter-of-factness,
Dice for your clothes.
O Human One, born with nothing
And dying with nothing
You stand with all similarly debased.
May we see in each the naked glory of God. Amen.

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station X Jesus is stripped of his garments

Station IX Jesus Falls A Third Time

Station IX
Jesus falls a third time

 

Isaiah 29:4
 
Jerusalem will be like a ghost struggling to speak from under the ground, a muffled voice coming from the dust.
 
Isaiah 53:7
 
“He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly;
    he never said a word.
Like a lamb about to be slaughtered,
like a sheep about to be sheared,
    he never said a word.
 
Prayer

Dust-bound Lord,
the voices of all beneath the rubble cry out for justice
their voices muffled by siren screams
and the thud of detonation.
There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.
Will you ever roar like a lion or is the silence of the lamb
Enough?
The division is enough.
The suffering is enough.
The justification for oppression is more than enough.
Do we have to dig you out with our bare hands?
We wait, but not patiently, Lord. Amen.

 

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station IX Jesus Falls A Third Time

Station VIII Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Station VIII
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

 

Luke 23:27-31
 
A large crowd of people followed him; among them were some women who were weeping and wailing for him.  Jesus turned to them and said, “Women of Jerusalem! Don’t cry for me, but for yourselves and your children.  For the days are coming when people will say, ‘How lucky are the women who never had children, who never bore babies, who never nursed them!’  That will be the time when people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Hide us!’  For if such things as these are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Lamentations 2:10

Jerusalem’s old men sit on the ground in silence,
with dust on their heads and sackcloth on their bodies.
Young women bow their heads to the ground.
 
Prayer

Encountering God,
who meets all who look for you,
we hold silence
in face of horrendous suffering.
Comfort those who mourn,
heal those who are wounded,
lift those who have fallen
and keep alight hope for a better future
where tears will be dried
and old men will rejoice
and young women will stand tall
and all who call Jerusalem home
will live together in peace.
In the name of the holy one. Amen.
 
 

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station VIII Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Station VII Jesus falls a second time

Station VII
Jesus falls a second time

 

Isaiah 53:10-12
 
The Lord says,
“It was my will that he should suffer;
    his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
    he will live a long life,
    and through him my purpose will succeed.
After a life of suffering, he will again have joy;
    he will know that he did not suffer in vain.
My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased,
    will bear the punishment of many
    and for his sake I will forgive them.
And so I will give him a place of honor,
    a place among the great and powerful.
He willingly gave his life
    and shared the fate of evil men.
He took the place of many sinners
    and prayed that they might be forgiven.”

Psalm 31:11-12

All my enemies, and especially my neighbours,
    treat me with contempt.
Those who know me are afraid of me;
    when they see me in the street, they run away.
Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead;
    I am like something thrown away.
 
Prayer

Fallen One, down in the dust with the refuse,
you persevere in face of contempt and disdain.
We pray for all considered expendable:
collateral damage for a greater good.
We see you with them, in solidarity,
and we ask that you will strengthen all those
who long to resist evil, but are not sure how
and we give thanks for those brave counter cultural souls
who persist in human kindness
at great personal cost.
Remember them, remember us, O God. Amen.
 
 

The Artist and Author

The artwork is © 2019 Margaret Adams Parker.  The prayer is © 2024 the Revd Muriel Pearson.

Copyright

‘Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.’

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Posted in Daily Devotions, Lent Thoughts | Tagged , | Comments Off on Station VII Jesus falls a second time