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Archive for March 27th, 2021

God in the Wilderness

MEDITATION:

Written by Sarina Odden Meyer, a contemporary American pastor, and author.

Many of us have experienced a wilderness in life—a time of trial or difficulty that forced us to drill down to the essentials of who we are, especially we who are in Christ. That is what the Israelites experienced in the wilderness. They were totally dependent on God. Their dependence was always at the forefront of their minds, because they were literally helpless without God’s provision. As they neared the land of plenty, God exhorted them to continue to follow God’s commandments, to continue to live in the fear of the Lord. Living in the fear of the Lord is a liberating concept. It is an invitation to worry only about what God thinks over and above what anyone else thinks, even ourselves. Times of wilderness are often blessings that bring us back to the essentials of who we are in Christ. It’s times of plenty that we have to worry about. In times of plenty, we think we can strike out on our own and live by the bread we make with our own hands. Instead of blessing God for all that God has given to us, we go astray, no longer living for God but living for ourselves or other people. As we approach a time of plenty, we are reminded to  “Take care that you do not forget the LORD your God” [Deuteronomy 8:11]. God has called each one of us uniquely to participate in the redemption of the world. When we forget God and start living for other things or other people, we forsake that which God has uniquely called us to do. During Lent, let us fast from the fear of other people, the fear of other things, even the fear of our own thoughts. Let us instead turn back to God and live in the fear of God only by remembering that “one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 

PRAYER:

Written by Sarina Odden Meyer, author of our meditation.

Gracious God, you know how easy it is for us to be driven by the fear of other people, other things, and even our own thoughts. Help us to be motivated instead only in fear of you. Help us to see that fearing you is an invitation to living fully into the calling you have uniquely given to us. Help us to seek you in times of wilderness and in times of plenty, so that in all the times we live through we will faithfully reflect your love in the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

MUSIC MEDITATION:

Softly and Tenderly: Kristyn Getty, Vince Gill, Ellie Holcomb, Sierra Hull. The song is from a collection of hymns and lullabies the Gettys use to close each day with their own families. The hymn was written by Will Thompson in 1880.

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