Student Devotional for the seventh week of Lent

acm_0131

Weekly 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 seventh week of Lent

Matthew 26:26-29

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’

I can’t tell you everything about communion. In fact, I can’t even tell you a lot about communion. What I can tell you is that communion is based off a dinner Jesus had with his pals. Jesus knew his time on Earth was coming to an end, so he got his pals together to eat. They met in a normal room with their normal group and ate food they would normally be eating. But Jesus used this parting meal to challenge his friends, asking them to remember him every time they eat bread or drink wine.

It’s a simple request, but it holds so much weight. Jesus is asking his friends to remember his life every time they partake in a situation that is so commonplace to them: a normal room, a normal group, normal food. To remember Jesus every time this happened would be frequent, multiple times a day.

Growing up, it was easy for me to write off Jesus’ request as meaning “think of me as often as you’re at the altar on Communion Sunday” or “think of me as often as you eat King’s Hawaiian and drink grape juice”. In reality, Jesus is saying “think of me as often as you eat” and “think of me as often as you share a meal” and “think of me as often as you’re around a table with pals”.

Suddenly, I’m remembering the life of Jesus frequently, multiple times a day. I’m remembering social justice and the willingness to push boundaries. I’m remembering the fostering of diverse communities and the time spent meaningfully pursuing relationships with people others didn’t trust. I’m remembering them frequently. So frequently, they become a part of how I live.

This week is Holy Week, and this Thursday is Maundy Thursday, when the dinner with pals is commemorated. However, if you’re reading this over your morning coffee, it’s already the time to think about social justice. If you’re about to head to lunch with your coworkers, it’s already the time to think about fostering diversity. If you’re sitting around with your friends, it’s already the time to think about intentionally pursuing meaningful relationships.

Thankfully, the life that Jesus lived is just as significant and applicable to where we are in 2017 as it was thousands of years ago.

I hope your Holy Week (and all the weeks after that) is spent eating good food with good people around big, open tables.

Hattie O’Hara, class of 2017

 

Student Devotional for the sixth week of Lent

14567631_1199105246830202_6405691617603935947_oWeekly 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 sixth week of Lent

1 Kings 17:17-24  

Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”  Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.  Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

It is safe to say that many of us feel overwhelmed sometimes. Schoolwork piles on, jobs become harder, relationships grow complicated, and we often feel helpless because of it. We keep pushing forward, going through the motions, just to finish the day and hope that the next day will be a little easier. The woman in this story feels completely helpless amidst the death of her son. It is easy to focus on Elijah’s miracle-work here, bringing the woman’s son back to life by imploring God to do so—and that is certainly an important element of the story, recognizing God’s power and love. But does this directly apply to us? Maybe there is someone on this earth today who is connected enough to God to perform a miracle like this, but I don’t expect to meet that person anytime soon. So, then what?

Perhaps we are unable to bring back a loved one from the grave. We do still carry the love of God with us anyway, so that means we are capable of doing good, of helping people, even if not in the most miraculous of ways. Each of us holds the power to impact another person’s day. Reminding ourselves constantly of the fundamental value of every human being, or that every person we encounter is doing their best, are two examples of ways we can change our outlook in our day-to-day challenges and frustrations. These reminders reflect the love God shows us; they allow us to be an Elijah to someone, even in a small way.

Zoe Wirt, Class of 2018