Student Devotional for the fourth week of Lent at BSC

cubaWeekly Student Devotional for the Season of Lent

The Christian season of Lent begins this year on Wednesday, March 1st, and continues until Sunday, April 18th.  Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a holy day during which Christians are meant to reflect on their own limitations and mortality and remember their need for God. During the 40 days of Lent, Christians are called to reflect on their life of faith and their dependence on God for life, forgiveness, and salvation.  Easter marks the end of Lent and the beginning of a season of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of new life.

Student Devotional for the fourth week of Lent

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green

pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,

for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and

love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of

the Lord forever.

 

During this time of Lent we find ourselves in, food often becomes the forefront of our thoughts. Whether it is about fasting, giving up a favorite soda, or trying to eat healthy in general; as a church this has become the most dietary conscious time of the year. Similarly, many persons use the spirit of Lent as a time to give back or to “pick up” a habit. Many times this comes in the way of feeding the hungry, helping the sick, etcetera. The mission of Lent is to experience Christ in his pain and in his glory. This is expressed beautifully in the 23rd Psalm with the dichotomous imagery of “the darkest valley” and “my cup overflowing”. These are 2 of the lines in this psalm that resonate the most with many persons, but oddly enough, the line separating these two images often gets overlooked (and if not overlooked, misinterpreted). Of course, it ties back into my favorite topic {food}! “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The word enemy isn’t a light word to be thrown around, but it is necessary for us to search our heart and minds to figure out what this passage means to us in our lives. We all have enemies. Some of them are systemic enemies of our state (i.e. times of war). Some of them are abstract concepts such as time, poverty, sickness, or money. Some of them are just straight up people you despise or vice versa. Regardless of who (or what) your enemies are, imagine the bizarreness of inviting ALL OF THEM to your family thanksgiving dinner this year. Yeah. It’d be wild. Why would this ever be a good idea? Like come on God, you tripping? A table full of my enemies? I don’t know what would be more awkward; if they were at the table with me, or if they were just there having to watch me eat! This scene seems to be something out of a nightmare, but the Psalm seems to suggest that it is quite the opposite. The passage lists these scenarios and then ends with “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The dinner table in “the house of the Lord” probably looks very different then our dinner tables in our homes.

As we go through this Lenten season, thinking about food, let us remember this Psalm. Let us walk together through the valley of Death, and let us dwell in the house of the Lord forever. But here and now, most of all, let us think about who we Invite to sit at our tables.

Allen Doyle, Class of 2018

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