2020 Lenten Devotional Booklet - Central Lutheran Church 2020. 8. 29.¢  2020 Lenten Devotional Booklet

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  • 2020 Lenten Devotional Booklet

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    Every year in the season of Lent we return to one section of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism for study,

    reflection and conversation. Martin Luther wrote his explanations for each of the central expressions of

    faith in 1529 after struggling with how little people knew about the essentials of faith. The catechism

    includes his explanations to the 10 Commandments, the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the

    Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion and the Office of the Keys. Luther’s Small Catechism has

    been a standard for confirmation instruction in Lutheran Churches for centuries. Yet, Luther intended it

    for the home, for the daily life of the faithful at the kitchen table.

    The Small Catechism has a progression, intentionally set up this way by Martin Luther. It begins with the

    10 Commandments, which when we meditate on them reveal the depth of our sin, how we are turned in

    on ourselves and away from God and neighbor. The Apostles Creed follows and gives voice to faith and

    the promise of God, creator, savior and sustainer. Following the Creed, Luther placed the Lord’s Prayer.

    With the gift of faith, we turn to God in prayer. Grounded in prayer, we give thanks for Baptism and taste

    God’s love in Holy Communion.


    Prayer at its deepest level is about listening. We do offer our spoken and silent prayers to God, but like all

    relationships there is a time to talk and a time to listen. In the words of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus literally

    puts the words of faith into our mouth. More so, Jesus promises the presence of God in daily prayer, as

    we speak and as we listen.

    Daily Devotional Meditations

    In this devotional you will encounter reflections on the Lord’s Prayer. Most concentrate on a specific

    petition that is meaningful for the author of the meditation. They reflect on why the words given in the

    Lord’s Prayer have drawn them into the presence of God. In many ways the words opened them to God,

    and it is often in the silence after we pray that we are ready to listen for God’s reply to our prayers,

    yearnings, hopes and dreams.

    The Lord’s Prayer

    Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 and in Luke 11. Along with Psalm 23 it is the central prayer

    of faith and life in God. Here at Central we use the “contemporary” translations, but many were raised

    with the traditional translation of the prayer.

    Our Father, who art in heaven,

    hallowed be thy name,

    thy kingdom come,

    thy will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven.

    Give us this day our daily bread;

    and forgive us our trespasses,

    as we forgive those who trespass against us;

    and lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from evil.

    For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

    forever and ever. Amen

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    Our Father in heaven,

    hallowed be your name,

    your kingdom come,

    your will be done,

    on earth as in heaven.

    Give us today our daily bread.

    Forgive us our sins

    as we forgive those who sin against us.

    Save us from the time of trial

    and deliver us from evil.

    For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

    now and forever. Amen.

    Both translations differ from the original prayer recorded in Matthew and in Luke. The conclusion to the

    prayer is an addition by the church. In Lutheran worship the community joins in the conclusion, but if

    you have been to worship in a Catholic Church you may have been caught as you continued on with the

    conclusion. It is helpful to pause and consider the prayer in both Matthew and Luke’s Gospels.

    Matthew 6:

    Jesus taught them: "Pray then in this way:

    Our Father in heaven,

    hallowed be your name. 10Your kingdom come.

    Your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.”

    Luke 11:

    Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord,

    teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." 2He said to them, "When you pray, say:

    Father, hallowed be your name.

    Your kingdom come.

    3Give us each day our daily bread.

    4And forgive us our sins,

    for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.

    And do not bring us to the time of trial."

    Listening for God

    As you turn to a time of daily prayer, it can help to light a candle and welcome the presence of God.

    Notice your breathing in this time of prayer. We breathe in God’s love and breathe out God’s peace.

    As you prayerfully consider the devotionals, the insights on the Lord’s Prayer or the weekend lessons,

    what words or images stay with you? What do you hear God saying to you in each daily reflection? How

    is God inviting you to a deeper awareness of love, a deeper relationship with God? How is God inviting

    you to a deeper love for your family, friends and neighbors?

    Offer all this to God in prayer and perhaps pause for a time of silence, of listening.

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    Ash Wednesday, February 26

    Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40-day journey to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter

    Vigil and Easter Sunday. Sundays in Lent always celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and so are not

    counted as part of the 40 days.

    Ash Wednesday Gospel Lesson

    The gospel lesson for Ash Wednesday is from Matthew 6. Jesus is teaching on prayer. The section of the

    gospel traditionally read on Ash Wednesday is just before he gives the Lord’s Prayer. As the first day of

    Lent arrives, pause to reflect on these insights on prayer.

    Jesus said to the disciples: 1“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for

    then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    2“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the

    synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received

    their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so

    that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    5“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the

    synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have

    received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your

    Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    16“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to

    show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast,

    put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your

    Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves

    break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust

    consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will

    be also.” Matthew 6

    Questions to consider:

    1. How do you hear Jesus’ invitation to prayer?

    2. Why does he invite secrecy?

    3. As you begin your Lenten journey for these 40 days, what will help you to be centered on God?

    What alms might you consider, what commitment to silence, stillness or solitude my help you

    return each day to God?

    4. Some people do fast, “giving up” something for Lent as a way to be aware of God and God’s

    presence. Others add a “fast,” like sending a daily thank you to connect them to gratitude, as a

    way to be opened to God’s presence. Will you fast by “giving up” or perhaps by adding

    something creative that opens you to God?

    Thursday, February 27 (Pastor Melissa Pohlman)

    The Lord’s Prayer is easily one of the first bits of text I ever memorized. While I can remember many

    songs from childhood, most of the plays and poems I remember come from when I was already at least

    ten years old. The Lord’s Prayer has been with me much longer. I remember being young and in the pews

    of my home church in Upper Michigan and yawning each time we said the Lord’s Prayer. My little child-

    like worry was concerned that this was the devil trying to get in between God and I and the prayer his

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    Son gave us. No matter how hard I tried I still yawned, and it took me years of reminding myself there

    was nothing magical about the prayer, I was just a tired little human. Once I believed it was ok to yawn, I

    stopped yawning during the Lord’s Prayer.

    Many, many, many years later I found