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Lent reflections: Broken made new

7 April 2017 Wesley Mission news

Lent is a time to examine our lives. This Lent we draw our attention to God’s presence and grace, which offers us forgiveness and new life through Jesus. You are invited to embark on a journey of Bible readings and self-examination as we prepare for the triumph of Easter, where we are assured of the promise that our brokenness is made new.

The readings, thoughts and prayers below have been provided by Wesley Mission's Rev Jenny Ducker.

Easter 2017 Broken Made New

Lent reflections: week one

1 March, Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
With the promise of judgement also comes the promise of forgiveness—if we return to God with new hearts.
God, help us turn back to you with all our hearts.

2 March
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
How amazing is God’s plan? When we fall away from God’s desire for us, God is still willing to search for us and reshape the future so we can have a part in it!
God, help us as we journey together through Lent, that we will accept your forgiveness and turn to your way.

3 March
Psalm 51:1-17
God’s kindness leads us from being broken to new hope, new future, new life.
God, give us strength to shout and sing of your power to save us.

4 March
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10
“This is the day for you to be saved.”
God, we are your servants: may your power work in us. 

5 March, the first Sunday in Lent
Matthew 4:1-11
We can hold onto the promises in God’s Word.
God, help us to trust in and keep the promises within your Word.

6 March
Psalm 32
God’s grace covers our shame. Our happiness comes from knowing we are forgiven.
God, thank you for your constant love and readiness to forgive.

7 March
Romans 5:12-19
We were created to live with God.  And thanks to Jesus we have that opportunity.
God, help us to turn away from the things we do wrong and turn back to you.

8 March
Romans 10:8-13
God’s love and acceptance is waiting for us. The promise is in the Bible for everyone. All who call out to the Lord will be saved.
God, we put our faith in you and trust in your promises for us.

9 March
Psalm 19
God gives us instruction through the Bible. God’s instruction is for our benefit, so we can live in God’s presence.
God, we pray we will be open to your guidance as we read your Word, the Bible.

10 March
James 1:12-17
James tells us not to give up when we are tested.
God, thank you for the encouragement we are given when faced with temptation.

11 March
Hebrews 11
Don’t be discouraged. We are not the first ones to be tempted. We are not the first ones to be forgiven!
God, we pray for our family and friends, that our faith may be for them a witness to your grace and faithfulness.

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Easter 2017 Broken Made New

Lent reflections: week two

12 March, the second Sunday in Lent
John 3:1-17
“Only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God.” Our new birth comes from the Word of a God who is on the move—blowing wherever it will.
God, open us to the wind of the Spirit as it blows in our world, calling us into an ever closer relationship with you.

13 March
Psalm 121
The promises of God are kept faithfully. Through this Psalm we learn that God will always be our help. God is always alert and ready to act.
God, we praise and thank you for acting in us, and through us, and for us.

14 March
Genesis 12:1-4
Abram and Sarai trusted God to be in places they did not know, to journey with them as they left their homeland, and to bless them as they followed faithfully where God led them.
God, you are calling us—open our ears to listen. Help us have the courage to trust you implicitly as we step out in faith.

15 March
Romans 4:1-5
If faith is what makes us acceptable to God, there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love. When we fully accept this, it can bring a wonderful freedom to us-we no longer have to strive to earn God’s favour because He loves us unconditionally already!
God, thank you for the love so freely given to us. May we have faith “as big as a mustard seed” to accept your love and live as your children.

16 March
Romans 4:13-17
Abraham lived so long ago that it is easy to think the promises made to him do not apply to us. Paul assures us that the promises are still relevant to us if we have faith.
God, thank you that the promises made to our ancestors in faith are timeless, and that we are a part of your family by adoption.

17 March
Philippians 3:17-4:1
We all do things that separate us from God’s love. There are many things that tempt us to stop being faithful to Jesus.
God, guide us as we search through our lives to get rid of those things that distance us from your presence.

18 March
Psalm 22:23-31
God deserves all our praise and worship. God’s love is for everyone, and we are the ones who are entrusted with the Good News of God’s love to share with others.
As we prepare for our time of community worship tomorrow, thank you, God, for the love that draws us closer to you, and that strengthens us to share your love with others.

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Easter 2017 Broken Made New

Lent reflections: week three

19 March, the third Sunday in Lent
John 4:5-15
What barriers do we set up that exclude others from our lives? What barriers do we set up that deny God the joy of giving to us what He wants to give us?
God, open us to your generosity that we might follow Jesus’ example of crossing barriers and sharing your love with all people. May we be vessels that bring your love to those who are longing for it.

20 March
John 4:16-26
Worship is, in part, for our benefit. It serves to remind us who we are in relationship with God. Where (and even how) we worship does not matter so much as long as we regularly set time aside to worship the God of truth.
God, by your Holy Spirit lead our worship so that we will be able to worship you in the truth that Jesus talks about.

21 March
John 4:27-38
We often relate obedience to subservience or being dominated by another person. Yet Jesus claims that His obedience to God is what sustains Him.
God, help us change our attitude to obedience to you and lead us into joy as we serve you and one another.

22 March
John 4:39-42
The woman returned to her village with the invitation, “Come and see.” This simple invitation led to many people putting their faith in Jesus.
Thank You, God, for the people in our lives who have invited us to “come and see” Jesus.

23 March
Exodus 17:1-7
When Moses struck the rock, there wasn’t just a trickle of water—the water poured forth. God’s abundance is amazing.
Thank You, God, for pouring your love and grace into our lives in abundance.

24 March
Romans 5:1-11
Telemarketing often uses the phrase, “But wait, there’s more!” And here Paul uses it. Not only has Jesus enabled us to experience God’s kindness and share in God’s glory, He has also saved us from God’s anger, made it possible for us to be at peace with God and saved us from our own sinfulness.
God, help us to understand more fully what Jesus has done for us and how awesome it is that we can live in your presence.

25 March
Psalm 95
This Psalm serves to remind us not to repeat the mistakes of history—whether they are our mistakes or those made by others. Trust God. God delights in those who are obedient.
God, we long to put our trust more fully in you, learning from the mistakes we have made and growing more completely in your abundant love.

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Easter 2017 Broken Made New

Lent reflections: week four

26 March, the fourth Sunday in Lent
John 9:1-12
What are the things that obscure our view of God’s glory? Where are we blinded in our relationship with God?
Lord Jesus, clear our eyes that we might see plainly the wonderful things God wants to show us. Help us to see where God is calling us to act in our community.

27 March
John 9:13-34
Sometimes we blind ourselves with rules that dictate what we can do, and when we can do it. Rules can be very helpful, but we must be careful that we are still prepared for God to do something new because God is never bound by our rules.
God, help us to examine the rules we impose on our lives, and on the lives of others. Help us discard those rules that do not fit with your plans for us.

28 March
John 9:35-41
Even if the entire world were to abandon us, we would not be alone. Jesus is always seeking us, welcoming us, and inviting us to follow Him.
Thank you, God, for the promise from Jesus that we will never be alone because He said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

29 March
Psalm 23
In this Psalm we are reminded that we can trust God to lead, protect, restore and provide for us. Trust involves reaching out—much as a blind person does when they need to be led—and giving over the control of where we are going.
God, strengthen our trust and faith, so that we may fulfil your plan for our lives.

30 March
Ephesians 5:8-14
God calls us out of the darkness and into the light. To the writer of Ephesians, light was like life—we are called into life with Jesus.
God, help us live as people of the light, shining with the presence of Jesus in our lives, so that others may be able to see Jesus through us and be brought into relationship with you.

31 March
1 Samuel 16:1-5
Samuel grieved that Saul was no longer in the Lord’s favour, but God’s reminder to him was to look ahead rather than always remembering the past. Our past shapes who we are now, but it is only by looking forward that we will become who God has created us to be.
As we look at our past, God, help us let go of memories and things that hold us back from fulfilling your plans for us. Give us strength and courage to live here and now in your loving presence.

1 April
1 Samuel 16:6-13
Overturning the normal order of things, Samuel anoints David, the youngest son. God’s perspective is different to ours.
God, open our eyes to see others as you see them, and to accept and love them as your chosen children.

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Easter 2017 Broken Made New

Lent reflections: week five

2 April, the fifth Sunday in Lent
John 11:1-45
John’s gospel, and this account of Lazarus’ death and life, intends for us to walk into the face of death and grief and see for ourselves whether God can be trusted to make a way out.
God, we pray for those who are grieving. May they experience the hope that Jesus offers us, the hope to face the future with your love and grace.

3 April
Ezekiel 37:1-14
When we are left feeling very dry (like the bones in the valley), God is able to speak and breathe into our lives, bringing new life and energy.
God, may each one of us know this ‘resurrection’, which is your Spirit breathing a new life into us.

4 April
Romans 8:6-11
When we live in Christ, we do not live in denial of death. Rather, we live with hope in the face of death.
We pray, God, for ourselves that we might live as you want us to live, filled with your holy, life-giving Spirit that brings us peace.

5 April
Psalm 130
The expression of absolute confidence that God will forgive us draws us into worshiping this great God.
God, we take some time to examine our lives. Alert us to the things that trouble us. Show us the things that are labelled ‘sins’ in our lives. We confess these things to you, and claim your promise of forgiveness.

6 April
Hosea 14:1-9
God’s passion for God’s people invites us to turn back to God, no matter what we have done to separate ourselves from God’s presence.
Thank you, God, for the promise to bless us when we deserve curses. Thank you, God, for the assurance that you will always be with us, and that the Lord will walk with us.

7 April
Romans 10:5-13
It is through faith that we are made acceptable to God. It is through faith that we can call out to the Lord for help.
God, open our ears to hear the message you speak to us, and open our hearts that we might share this message with others.

8 April
Hebrews 12:1-3
Obstacles crop up at every turn, threatening to distract us from wholly following Jesus. We are reminded to set these obstacles aside, especially the sins that tempt us, and fix our eyes on Jesus.
God, we hold on to your encouragement and support as we journey towards the cross this Easter. Help us identify the distractions in our lives, and then to help us overcome them so that our faith can be made more complete through Jesus.

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Easter 2017 Broken Made New

Lent reflections: week six

9 April, Palm Sunday
Matthew 26:17-35
Did Jesus predict the future or have an innate understanding of human nature? Either way, He shared the bread and cup with those who would betray and deny Him. No one was excluded. No one is excluded!
God, we reflect on the ways and times we betray and deny Jesus. Forgive us.

10 April, Holy Monday
Matthew 26:36-56
Jesus is left alone to pray for release, but even while He prays, He knows God’s will for Him remains the same. At the time of His arrest, Jesus resigns Himself to God’s will.
God, we pray the same prayer of Jesus: “Not my will, but yours be done.”

11 April, Holy Tuesday
Matthew 26:69-75
It’s the easier course of action—it bought a little time for Peter when he said, “I don’t know Him.”
God, we ask for the boldness to stand up and claim our relationship with Jesus.

12 April, Holy Wednesday
Matthew 27:1-2, 11-26
Did Pilate know what he was doing? Was he manipulated or manipulator? Whatever his role was, the guilty was set free, and the innocent was condemned.
God, help us to know ourselves, that we will stand up for what is right no matter what it costs.

13 April, Maundy Thursday
Matthew 27:27-30
It is a cruel picture—Jesus, dressed as a king and mocked by the soldiers who would kill Him. There is nothing nice about this story. It goes from one horrible event to the next.
God, may we not be blinded by the norms of this world and fail to recognise the things that are of you.

14 April, Good Friday
Matthew 27:31-56
Even nature joined in the act—the earth shook and rocks split apart. Graves opened and dead people were raised to life! And in the moment of great tragedy, soldiers recognised who Jesus really was.
God, help us to know Jesus in our own lives as He really is. Before it is too late.

15 April, Easter Saturday
Matthew 27:57-66
Jesus is buried. Those who love Him are left to mourn and seek comfort amongst each other. Jesus could not be God’s Son, because God’s Son, the Messiah, would never die a criminal’s death. They watched and waited, until in the end they saw a sign of the beginning.
Tomorrow we may celebrate, but today we grieve. Forgive us, God, for the things we have done that separate us from you and each other. Forgive us for our acts of betrayal and denial. Forgive us for our lack of faith. Forgive us for our blindness. May we turn back to you and know the love and grace you offer us now. May we have the life you died to give us.

16 April, Easter Sunday
Matthew 28:1-10
Even as we are broken by grief and the earth itself quakes, we are sent by God to tell that Jesus has been raised from the dead! As Matthew describes this event, it is in the going that we meet the risen Lord. That which is broken—our hearts, our relationships, our lives—is made new in the glorious promise of resurrection.
God, send us out with the Good News: Christ is risen! And we are assured a new beginning in our life with you. Thanks be to God. Amen!

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