Lent 2024 | Day 2

Day 2 (Thursday, Feb 15)
As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
(Joel 2:12-13)

Think about it.

Yesterday we posed the question, “Do you truly want to know Jesus better?” The prophet Joel exhorts us to return to the Lord with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Notice why. As we return to him, we get to know his character better: he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. In this journey of knowing Jesus better, would you be willing to consider a means of “returning with all your heart to the Lord” this Lent?

Pause and pray.

Lent is often thought of as a time of giving something up, whether through fasting and prayer, or something else like coffee, sugar, screen-use, etc. But if the goal is not clear, we can focus on our deprivation, rather than focusing on our hearts and knowing God better. Perhaps if we participate together, we can grow together in understanding God’s abounding love through this practice, and pray for our church as well. Would you pray, and consider joining the UCC community this Lent in fasting (if you are able) once a week? Here are some guidelines for fasting and we will have a printout available at church.

Come, Lord Jesus.

"Ultimately we fast simply because we want God more than we want anything this world has to offer us."2 (John Piper, A Hunger for God)

(1) Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
(2) John Piper, A Hunger for God (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 11.

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - February 15th, 2024 at 8:15am

In my experience, fasting is a wonderful discipline offering us the opportunity to draw close to God. So, why don’t I do it more often? Sometimes it is difficult because it interrupts the flow of family routines. More often than not, it is simply more important to me to stay comfortable-enjoying the things I like to eat and established routines. I will be preaching on dying to comfort in a few weeks using James 1:2-12 as my text. James encourages us to rejoice in our trials and sufferings. Compared to what Jesus endured, no suffering we endure is close to His. Yet, somehow when we humble ourselves in fasting, we draw close to Him. That is my experience. I look forward to this season of fasting.




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