Lectionary readings for Second Sunday in Lent (Cycle C)
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-28; Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17-4:1a; Luke 13:31-35

Come my heart says, “Seek his face!”  Your face, Lord, do I seek.     —Psalm 27:8

Most years I don’t feel quite ready for Lent with all its demands and disciplines—especially the call to self-denial and fasting. I don’t want to just “give up chocolate for Lent” because God is the curmudgeon in the sky who wants to keep it from me.  I don’t want anyone (including myself) to see the spiritual life as a joyless existence that eschews God’s good gifts.

And yet, I don’t want to miss anything either!  I don’t want to miss the possibility of having my life stripped down to its barest essence through fasting from those things that keep me out of touch with my longing and need for God.  I don’t want to side-step this “spring cleaning of the soul” intended to clear out the junk and garbage in my life so there is more space for God. I don’t want to miss the chance to abstain from soul-numbing distractions so I can be more attuned to God’s voice ringing as clear as bell in the depths of my uncluttered soul.

My guess is, you feel the same way, too. So let us pray together…

Catch me in my anxious scurrying, Lord,

and hold me in this Lenten season;

hold my feet to the fire of your grace

and make me attentive to my mortality

that I may begin to die now

to those things that keep me from living fully

with you and for you…

Hold my heart to the beat of your grace

and create in me a resting place,

a kneeling place,

a tip-toe place

where I can recover from the disease of my grandiosities

which fill my mind and calendar with busy self-importance,

that I may become vulnerable enough

to dare intimacy with the familiar,

to listen cup-eared for your summons…

And somehow,

during this season of sacrifice,

enable me to sacrifice time

and possessions

and securities,

that I may experience

something new,

something saving,

something true.


©Ruth Haley Barton, 2013.  Not to be used without permission. Prayer adapted from Ted Loder, Guerillas of Grace, pp. 117-19.

Ruth is founder of the Transforming Center, and author of Pursuing God’s Will Together, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Sacred Rhythms, and Invitation to Solitude and Silence (InterVarsity Press).

Lent Calendar (Cycle C) and guidance for using the lectionary

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