3/30/14

Monday Morning Offering: 3/31


Image: George Mendoza


Good morning, good God!

So, Lent’s half over
and Easter's only three weeks away...

I should be at least half-prepared, 
half-ready to celebrate Easter
-- but I’m not...

Beginning on Ash Wednesday I was doing pretty well,
right up 'til, oh,
maybe the First Sunday of Lent:
I know, Lord, that was only 4 days!


So, I offer you my sketchy record here 
and ask you to forgive my unkept Lenten pledges…

I offer you my lack of self-discipline,
recognizing how I excuse myself so easily...

I offer you my flimsy promises, 
made with firm intentions but failing in the follow-through…

I offer you my laziness, hoping you'll forgive me 
and accept my renewed pledge to pray more often, 
to sacrifice and reach out to the poor…

Such is my offering, Lord:  
help me depend and lean on you  
and not try to do this all on my own…

Be with me, Lord, 
and be my strength in every temptation,
especially when I'm tempted
to give up on Lent...

• When I put off prayer,
draw me to a quiet place and sit me down to be with you, 
to speak with you, to rest in your presence…

• When I’m tempted to indulge myself  
on what I’ve given up for Lent,  
remind me of my pledge and the reason for it:
to empty out my fullness, to learn a hunger
for what truly feeds my mind and heart...

• When I spend first on myself  
and consume more than my share or need:
show me how much I already have
and where and how I have too much  
and help me be more generous 
with those who have little or nothing at all…

And if I’ve failed from the beginning
to pray and fast and sacrifice,  
let today be my “Ash Monday,”  
"day one" of Lent for me:
this is the day that you’ve made, Lord,
give me grace to grow in you...

And remind me, Lord,
that I don't walk the Lenten path alone:  
keep me kind and gentle  
with those whose paths cross mine 
this day and through the week ahead...

Lord, I offer you my renewed Lenten pledge:  
I pray you'll strengthen my resolve,  
deepen my commitment 
and keep me faithful to you 
and my preparing for Easter
and the life and peace you offer me...
 
Amen. 


 

   
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2 comments:

Jane R said...

Oh, did that ever hit the spot. Thank you, Austin.

I am going to share the link to this with the retreatants in both of the online Lenten retreats I am leading.

But first, I am having a good pondering of this myself!

Concord Pastor said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! And it's a Lenten joy to know you'll share these words with others, Jane.