Daily Lenten Reflection

 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. –Romans 7:15, NRSV

Many people in Jesus’ time hungered for a new day. They wanted Roman occupiers gone; they wanted a messiah to come who was up for that task. This Son of David would be part Jewish freedom-fighter, part emperor. He would smash Israel’s enemies, give them what they deserved, and judge the unrighteous. Everything would be made right. The glory days would return, only on steroids.

It’s funny how the hungry heart can play with the mind. Unanalyzed hunger creates mirages. The images seem real and plausible. And the next thing you know, you’re trying to create what you want. –Anthony Chvala-Smith, The Kingdoms in Our Heads

Reflection: 

  • When does “unanalyzed hunger” create a mirage in your life? When have you found yourself wanting what doesn’t really sustain?
  • Many in Jesus’ time created an image of what they wanted a messiah to be and do. When do you “create what you want” instead of being open to God’s Spirit emerging in ways you didn’t expect?
  • Prayerfully dwell in the text from Romans 7:15. When do you act contrary to your deepest desire? What is God’s invitation to you in this text today?

 

Daily Lenten Reflection

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6, NRSV

Deserts abound in the journey of life. There’s no sense acting like we deserve a free pass, either. A famous desert saint, Antony of Egypt, said ‘Without temptation no one can be saved.’ He might as easily have said, without wilderness times no one can be saved. Why? In the privation of the desert we can glimpse the famished depths within. What we’re made of is hunger. “Everybody’s got a hungry heart”— Bruce Springsteen got it right, too. –Anthony Chvala-Smith, The Kingdoms in Our Heads

Reflection: 

  •  In the privation of desert places, what can you learn about the “famished depths within?”
  • What hunger are you “made of?” What is the deepest thing you hunger for?
  • Prayerfully dwell in the text from Matthew 4:6. What is God’s invitation to you in this text today?