Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every other name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
- Philippians 2:6-11
The image of the crucified Christ shows a man whose body is bent for love of others.
We who would follow the the word and the will of Christ and the way of his Cross should not be surprised when we are called to bend our lives for others. Following Christ will often leave us bent under the burdens that loving others places on our shoulders. Following Christ will find us bending to the needs of others before taking care of our own. Following Christ will find us bending to uncomfortable truths and to a justice not always deciding in our favor. Following Christ means bending our hearts before God, reverencing our Maker before exalting ourselves.
As I go to pray today, I ask the Lord...
What is unbending in my heart, in my life?
Where is it most difficult for me to yield, to bend, to shape my life for others rather than care for my own needs?
Do I consider how Christ was bent on the Cross for me? for the ways in which I fail to bend myself out of love for him? for others?
Do I appreciate those who bend their lives, their hearts, their efforts, their schedules, their own desires to serve mine? to accommodate me? to care for my needs? Do I remember those who have done just this kind of bending for me through the years of my life?
Dare I ask the Lord to soften what is unyielding in my heart?
Dare I ask the Lord to work the clay of my heart with the waters of mercy and to bend my heart to see and to serve the needs of others?
In prayer, I'll ask to see more clearly how Christ is bent on the Cross for my sins, my failings, my reluctance and refusal to bend for others...
I'll pray to see the moments in my daily life that offer me opportunities to bend my heart and time and perspective out of love of others...
I will bend my knees and heart in reverence for Christ who was bent low for me upon his Cross...
Be still... and know that in the silence, Christ bends to listen...
Be still... and know that in the quiet, Christ is present...
Be still... and know that in the stillness, Christ bends and folds himself into my heart...
Are you new to "Praying 10 Minutes a Day in Lent" - or are you having trouble getting started? The first installment offers some thoughts on getting started, as do the subsequent posts in the series. So take a look and join us!
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