The graduate school I attended in Nashville, Tennessee, had a highly creative curriculum in the late 1970s. Scarritt focused on preparing people for different lay ministries like Christian education for all ages, missions, music, and social work. It was related to the United Methodist Church, which was being very experimental in those days with approaches to education and styles of worship. Through their touchy-feely, cut-and-paste classes, I gained an appreciation for the power of metaphor as a medium through which God speaks, especially in visual prompts.
So I was excited to see a Lenten challenge to post a daily photo based on a word-of-the-day. The hope is to provide some visual fodder that sparks the imagination and the still small voice of God to our hearts.
From tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, through Easter Sunday, I will post my photos on Twitter at 12:01 p.m. CST. Each will have either no words or a few words. I’ve included a related scripture with a few of them.
However, I want to share it here on the blog to include those who don’t follow Twitter. (I can’t do FB because they suspended me before I finished registering. Long story.)
I’ll do a post each Tuesday throughout Lent for the upcoming weeks’ prompts. Of course, I’ll add a few more thoughts to each, but the purpose isn’t to see/hear what I have to say but to elicit something the picture may say to you. And perhaps also to be a vehicle that allows the Lord to speak to you.
Here are a couple of suggestions that may enhance your devotional experience with the photos I’ve selected.
(1) Look at the picture before you read my remarks and questions about the word of the day. Really look at it. How does the image relate to that word? Pray for God to speak through it. Let any thoughts about it rise to the surface of your mind.
(2) After you read what I wrote about it, jot down anything that you think might be spiritually significant for you on that day or for this season of your life.
I hope it blesses you. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
WEDNESDAY, March 2: FULL
The tipping point. The right time. Not Chronos but Kairos: God’s timing. Moment of opportunity. The unique now. Fulfillment. “It’s about time!” Not another moment to spare. Full to the brim.
Lent is a time of introspection. It is a serious time leading to honest self-assessment and repentance. Do any of these thought-stimulating phrases speak to your situation right now? In what way? How about in current our world situation?
THURSDAY, March 3: TEMPTED
We all have different things that tempt us. Our predispositions, appetites, itches, and preferences vary widely. Desire. Pressure. Urge. Force. Goad. Addiction. Insistence.
And sometimes, we aren’t even aware of it.
Hebrews 2:18 (ESV) For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
It’s part of the human condition. So how does it help to know Jesus experienced His own forms of temptation? How has that helped you?
FRIDAY, March 4: ALONE
A hospital waiting room. In a boat on the lake. A small prayer chapel. In a crowded mall. Driving solo. A social gathering where you don’t know another person there. A walk in the woods. When everyone but you has left the house.
Do you relish these times or dread them? It depends on the circumstances, right? For some, solitude is energizing or nourishing. Others dread being alone. But being alone doesn’t always correspond to being lonely. Even Jesus needed times of withdrawal.
Matthew 14:23 (ESV) And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does this affect your approach to times of solitude? Where and when do you hear God speaking to you most often?
SATURDAY, March 5: PROTECT
Everyone has responsibilities to look after and guard. Whether professional or personal, material or relational, we are custodians of many things around us. When we neglect or fail our duty, the losses can be insignificant or enormous.
On the other hand, no matter who you are (age, status, occupation), you need protection from many threats. We may or may not realize all our vulnerabilities.
How do these thoughts apply to your spiritual life?
SUNDAY, March 6: CELEBRATE
Every Sunday during Lent is a break from the sober self-examination that characterizes the other forty weekdays. Instead, let us put aside the cares of this world and rejoice in God’s love, mercy, and goodness.
MONDAY, March 7: PRAY
As I sat in traffic while on my way to the doctor’s office, I saw this reminder on the back windshield of a vehicle in the lane beside me. I pray often, but at that moment, I was worrying more than remembering that I have a Great Physician who loves me and has everything under control. The person driving that vehicle had no idea about the impact of their comforting silent witness. I captured this photo to remind me of the scenario.
Can you recall someone or something that jogged your memory about the need to pray about a concern?
1Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV) pray without ceasing,
When Paul said this, he meant it. So how can you aim closer to this lofty goal?
Yall have a great week. I invite you to give me some feedback in the comments section.
Next Tuesday morning I’ll give the photos for the following week.