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Lent: looking at ourselves & weaknesses honestly

Our service this evening: Lentern Health Check

Lectio Divina: Judging Others: Matthew 7 (NIV)

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

In the Lectio Divina, we talked about scarcity and criticising / judging others to cover our own inadequacy. God tells us to ask freely for what we lack, so there is no need for jealousy or coveting the gifts / situation of others.

Lent : A Time for Life Audit

How are we doing in our life journey?

Are we moving towards God or away?

Towards the reality of ourselves, seeing with kindness, or away?

Becoming more fully the person God made us to be?

Are we making excuses to avoid the truth – blaming others?

“When you blame and criticise others, you are avoiding some essential truth about yourself.” Deepak Choprah

Lentern Spiritual Health Check Questions:

How are we feeling / behaving towards:

– Nearest and dearest
– God
– our own body
– The bible
– others we journey with?

Spiritual disciplines: do we do some of these regularly?

– Prayer
– Study
– Confession/repentance
– Fasting from what you depend on most
– Silence
– Kindness to self
– Looking after health
– Abstaining from…
– Sharing with someone else
– Learning
– Patience in struggles
– Work
– Rest
– Laugh / relax / have fun

What do we need to tackle / look at / try out / give up over Lent?

What do we need to be set free from?

We talked about how compulsion betrays an issue in our life; each of us is struggling to stay in control in an area of our life that is feeling threatening and out of control. We confessed to one another. Taking a longer term perspective of an issue allows us to see evidence of God at work in our life, yet we still try and micro manage and manipulate the outcomes we want. More trust required! Journeying with others allows us to see better and travel together.

Closed with Walter Brueggemann prayer ‘Exposed to Mercy, Truth and Newness’:

Exposed to Mercy, Truth, and Newness (On reading Psalm 32)

We begin the new week toward you, from whom no secret can be hid,

We have had a night, and a weekend, and a lifetime of secrets.

We have stored the usual list of secrets, of acres of guilt unforgiven, of desires too rich to utter.

Beyond that, we have a secret list of hurts, from ancient days with parents and siblings,

from assorted bullies at playschool and in adult life; some of us overly sensitive,

all of us grown protective and capable of self-pity,

Beyond that, we have a secret list of hopes, some selfish and some noble,

hopes of new freedom and new reconciliation, of new security and new recognition,

of doing well and being well.

We have so much to keep hidden.

And you know- you know because you made us and have watched us from the beginning;

you know because you see us in our waking and our sleeping; you know because you love us right

through, all of our covert capacity.

And we yearn to be known-fully, without reserve by you:

So we ask on this day, courage to match your love, honesty to match your generosity,

self-awareness to speak into your awareness of us.

That by the time the sun sets, we will have rent the curtain of our lives,

and let you into the center of it all, there to abide in holy forgiveness.

We pray through your spirit of all truth that our truth opened to your mercy may make us free.

Brueggemann, Walter (2010-04-01). Prayers for a Privileged People (p. 130). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

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