Lenten Devotional: 2/24/21

May we trust when we have the courage to forgive the strong arms of Christ are their to support us.
📸 Yonah, Lwe Kaw Soe and Aziz @ Camp Northlake

Luke 5.17-26

One day when Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and legal experts were sitting nearby. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea, and from Jerusalem. Now the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal. Some men were bringing a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. They wanted to carry him in and place him before Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they took him up on the roof and lowered him—cot and all—through the roof tiles into the crowded room in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The legal experts and Pharisees began to mutter among themselves, “Who is this who insults God? Only God can forgive sins!”

Jesus recognized what they were discussing and responded, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins” —Jesus now spoke to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, get up, take your cot, and go home.” Right away, the man stood before them, picked up his cot, and went home, praising God.

All the people were beside themselves with wonder. Filled with awe, they glorified God, saying, “We’ve seen unimaginable things today.”

God, I have to confess that I’m going to have to dig deep for Lent this year. 

I don’t know how much more I can give up,

how much more time I can face the reality of my own mortality.

It feels like I’ve been fasting and wandering in the desert for a year now.

And yet, there’s always room for more of you, if I will just make some space.

Awaken the strength in me to forgive so I can clear out space for you, and heal my brokenness.

Awaken the Christ in me, 

to forgive myself when I don’t meet my own expectations of what a parent, a partner, a friend or a co-worker should be.

Awaken the Christ in me, 

to extend forgiveness to friends, family, and enemies. Remind me of how freeing it feels to release all that anger and frustration, and replace it with a healing mercy that leads to wholeness. 

Awaken the Christ in me,

to seek reconciliation with those who I have hurt. Let me give them the opportunity to also offer forgiveness and experience the joy of showing mercy as you showed mercy.

May all this come to pass to bring glory to your name and healing to your creation.

In the name of Christ Jesus, through whom all things are possible,


(Prayer written by Brian Ikeda)

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