Week One: United in Prayers that Give Glory to Jesus|
|Feb 4||Feb 5||Feb 6||Feb 7||Feb 8||Feb 9|
Week Two: United in Prayers for the Saving of Souls|
|Feb 10||Feb 11||Feb 12||Feb 13||Feb 14||Feb 15||Feb 16|
Week Three: United in Prayers that We May Be One in Christ|
|Feb 17||Feb 18||Feb 19||Feb 20||Feb 21||Feb 22||Feb 23|
Week Four: United in Prayer to Increase our Joy|
|Feb 24||Feb 25||Feb 26||Feb 27||Feb 28||Feb 29||Mar 1|
Week Five: United in Prayers that Stand for Truth and Justice|
|Mar 2||Mar 3||Mar 4||Mar 5||Mar 6||Mar 7||Mar 8|
Week Six: United in Prayers that The Whole Christian Church May Be One|
|Mar 9||Mar 10||Mar 11||Mar 12||Mar 13||Mar 14||Mar 15|
Week Seven: United in Prayers of Complete Love for One Another|
|Mar 16||Mar 17||Mar 18||Mar 19||Mar 20||Mar 21||Mar 22|
February 4, 2008
Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You." John 17:1
Down in New Orleans they have been celebrating. Parades, bizarre costumes, music, dancing, eating and drinking all peak this week on Tuesday at the Mardi Gras carnival. A "farewell day to meat," Mardi Gras marks the transition from Epiphany to the holy and penitential season of Lent and fasting.
Today, little of Mardi Gras bears resemblance to anything Christian; however, many Christians do observe the day and approaching season with great piety. Mardi Gras is also called "Shrove Tuesday" meaning a day to confess our sins and receive forgiveness. The word "shrive" emphasizes the hearing of our confession and the one who forgives. Even before Lent begins, God starts with a promise... He stands ready "to shrive." He's ready to listen and ready to forgive.
The prayer of Jesus (John 17) which inspired this devotional journey is often called his "High Priestly Prayer." Jesus prays as The High Priest who has heard our confession. The penance will not be assigned to us. The penance is assigned to him: a cross.
While it all seems so terribly upside-down to us, this act of complete and perfect penance for us - this cross - is Jesus' glory. Jesus prays, "Glorify Your Son," knowing exactly what He asks for.
So how do we unite in prayers that give glory to Jesus? Ironically they probably don't begin with our cheers and accolades; they begin with our confession. It's not that our sins glorify him; rather, it is our trust to give him our deepest pains and failures that glorifies Jesus.
The One who hears our confession, glories in raising us from the ashes. Lent isn't a journey of morbidity and a time to focus on our sinfulness - literally the word means "spring." It's a time to turn over death and sin to our Great High Priest. The journey we are about to engage is one that will raise us up see the glory of God. It begins with confession, but finishes with resurrection. It begins with "Lord, have mercy," but ends with "Alleluia!" It begins with glory in a cross and ends with glory in victory.
Glory be to Jesus, Who in bitter pains poured for me the life-blood from His sacred veins! Abel's blood for vengeance pleaded to the skies; but the blood of Jesus for our pardon cries. Lift we, then, our voices, swell the mighty flood, louder still and louder praise the precious blood!