Wednesday, March 9, 2011


     Today marks the beginning of Lent.  The churches we've attended don't celebrate Lent, yet it's often been recommended for our personal observance as an opportunity for reflection on sin and sacrifice and redemption.  It is an opportunity to turn our face toward Jerusalem, as Christ did with the cross before Him.  Some years I have chosen a fast from some little pleasure of mine, but this year, here I am on Wednesday and still haven't settled on anything.  However, yesterday in the library I found a book of Augustine's sermons, with some for Lent, and if nothing else, at least I can read.  I want to hear God speak to my heart concerning the seriousness of my sin, His costly sacrifice, and I want to rejoice, rejoice, rejoice over His resurrection.  Here are a few other ideas I have gathered:

The Relinquished Life by Oswald Chambers
The Eleventh and Twelfth Chapters of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer, we have it on our shelf but it's also available online.
Poetry of George Herbert.  I'm going to read The Altar, Redemption and Easter Wings.
Luther's Sermons for Lent, there are many at this site.
Augustine on Psalm 51 or Psalm 22
Spurgeon Pride Cannot Live Beneath the Cross
John and Noel Piper have written Biblical devotions for Lent that I'm hoping to read with our family.  Since it's only Wednesday I should still have time to buy the candles and create a centerpiece for the table before Sunday.

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
’Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!
’Tis the long expected prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
’Tis a true and faithful Word.

Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress:
Many hands were raised to wound Him,
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.

Ye who think of sin but lightly,
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed!
See Who bears the awful load!
’Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man, and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation,
Here the refuge of the lost.
Christ the Rock of our salvation,
Christ the Name of which we boast.
Lamb of God for sinners wounded!
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on Him their hope have built.

-Thomas Kelly

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