Five Devotional Tools You Can Try During Lent

 In Featured, One Thing, Pastor Jason's Blog

by Jason Kramme

 

The season of lent provides Christians an opportunity to re-commit to their faith. Like many things such as health, finances, or simply being organized we can be overwhelmed by the task. What if we stopped beginning with the end in mind and started with our beginning? I think that the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew could show us a way forward. Jesus was walking beside the sea of Galilee when he saw the two of them fishing. He told them, “come and follow me.” The text says that they dropped their nets at once and followed him. Usually, we read that story to mean that in that very moment their entire lives were devoted to following Jesus. Like they had a miraculous change of heart. But, did they?

Most of the Gospel that follows this is the story of how they don’t even really understand what Jesus is doing most of the time. Then, when things get sketchy while Jesus is on trial, Peter bails altogether. Now, I don’t want you to hear me shaming these disciples. What I do want you to hear me saying is this: they are regular people following an extraordinary God to the best of their ability. Just like you and just like me. Secondly, this imperfect journey started with one action: dropping their nets.

I want to encourage you in these days leading up to the season of Lent to think about what simple, achievable, repeatable thing you can do during Lent that can be your version of dropping a net. To get you started, here are five concrete ideas built around five tools the pastoral staff at Prince of Peace uses for their devotional routine:

YouVersion Bible App: Download the YouVersion Bible App on your iPhone or android device and then read the daily My Story. You’ll have a daily scripture, a question to think about, a ninety second video devotional, a chance to respond to a question, and the ability to share on your favorite social network. It takes about five minutes.

Our Daily Bread: Remember those little books on the welcome desk at church? Those are little daily devotionals, and they are available digitally. If you have an iPhone or Android device, then you can download the app. If you’re working from a desktop, then head over to odb.org. Our Daily Bread provides a daily devotional, Bible reading, and prayer you can use to center your day. It takes about five minutes.

Pastor Paul’s Daily Word: This is a devotional resource Prince of Peace provides on our website and our social media platforms. Pastor Paul explores the intersection of faith and a relevant issue in 300 words or less. You can also read more on his personal blog: https://thrivingrhythms.wordpress.com/.  It takes about five minutes.

Center for Action and Contemplation: Fr. Richard Rohr has shaped a good portion of the thinking of our pastoral staff over the last few years and he provides a daily email devotional that is a little less than 300 words and includes a devotional question and a prayer. You can sign up for this email at: cac.org. It takes about 10 minutes.

Lectio 365: This is a daily devotional that helps you pray the Bible every day. You can get an app for iPhone or Android or there is a website you can access from your desktop. You can read it or you can listen to it on the go. If you have had a hard time slowing down to hear what the Bible is saying to you, then this is a great resource. It takes about ten minutes.

Often when we’re trying to make a significant life-change, we have a picture in mind that we deem ‘success.’ How we feel along the way and at the end is usually based on that picture. I want to encourage you to look at it a different way. Instead of being whatever you picture as a saint, why not commit to one of these practices and be saintly? Starting on Ash Wednesday which falls on February 17, make an “X” on your calendar for each day you complete your habit. Once you get a few in a row, commit to not breaking the chain.

When Jesus called the disciples, the disciples responded by dropping their nets. It was one small act of devotion that they had to practice every day. How will you drop your net?

 

Jason Kramme serves as Pastor of Spiritual Formation

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