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Engage

This Lent, we are inviting everyone at City Church to engage in a practice of Scripture reading and prayer. In keeping with our Lenten theme of Love Under Pressure—which looks at how Jesus was able to be guided by God’s love in such a remarkably difficult time of his life—we are going to be looking at the various pressures that Jesus, and we all, face: Grief and loss, the unknown, betrayal, persecution, condemnation, and expectations. The weightiness of his last days freed Jesus up even more to do the will of the One who sent him. Might we be able to live with that same love during the forty days of Lent?

During Lent, we walk with Jesus through stories of pressure and grief. Each day we have the opportunity to come close to Jesus, offer prayers for ourselves and our world, and notice how his love takes him more deeply into suffering with and for us. Use the the resources below to help you engage in this journey.


Individual Scripture Meditation Guide

Each day, find a quiet place, take five deep breaths, and invite the Spirit to be your guide. Read the passage slowly, out loud if possible. Engage it through the lens of the day, taking notes if helpful. To close, always return to deep breathing and rest for a few quiet minutes in God’s all-loving presence.

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WEEKLY SCRIPTURE:
Feb 18   Grief & Loss (John 11:1-44)
Feb 25   Peril (John 13:1-17)
Mar 4     Betrayal (John 18:12-27)
Mar 11   Persecution  (John 18:28-40)
Mar 18   Condemnation  (John 19:1-16a)
Mar 25   Expectations (John 19:16b-22)

DAILY PRACTICE:

MONDAY
Practice Lectio Divina:
After reading the passage, notice and reflect on what stands out to you. (What does it bring up for you? What might the Spirit want to talk about with you?) Respond truthfully, perhaps with a question, gratitude, or resolution.

TUESDAY
Meditate on Jesus in this scene:
Get curious about this passage’s setting, people, power dynamics, threats, and dedication, and about Jesus‘ inner and outer posture through it.

WEDNESDAY
Explore How Love is under this Pressure Today:
Contemplate thispressure as it surfaces in the national or global news, in work or institutions, in relationships or families.

THURSDAY
Identify with this pressure in your life:
Where have you experienced this? What does it feel like? What happens to you under this pressure? How might Love lead you through it?

FRIDAY
Cultivate compassion and action:
What person or people do you know who are under this pressure? How might you support them with prayers or resolve to act?


Daily Prayer

During Lent, we walk with Jesus through stories of pressure and grief. Each day we have the opportunity to come close to Jesus, offer prayers for ourselves and our world, and notice how his love takes him more deeply into suffering with and for us.

As we pray together as a church during Lent, may we all come closer to Jesus and grow in compassion for one another and our world.

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