Daily Notes to inspire and encourage over the Lent period.
Ash Wednesday to Wednesday 24 February 2021
Written by Emmanuel church members
Each week over the next 40 days, we will add a new set of reflections to encourage us during this period of Lent.
Here are the first eight reflections.
REFLECTION 1 - 17 FEBRUARY
written by SC
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Ash Wednesday’s call to repentance marks the start of this special season of ‘seeking God’s face’.
Lent gives us the wonderful opportunity to submit ourselves again to our awesome God, trusting in his loving mercy, his generous provision and his healing grace.
Lord, Thank you for your amazing love, mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ.
Please, we pray, forgive us and heal us, here and around the world, for the glory of your name.
REFLECTION 2- 18 FEBRUARY
written by AL
SONG OF SONGS 2:11-13
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land
Here we are in Lent and a very special time of year, heading towards Spring, a season of light and new life. Song of Solomon 2: 11-13 gives us a lovely visual picture of the awakening of nature and we are reminded of new beginnings, fresh starts, and this year in particular, hope of better days ahead for us all. In spring all seems fresh and green and life blooms everywhere. The winter cold begins to retreat, days grow longer and we are able to relish more hours of daylight. Psalm 147:18 describes how, at God’s command, “the ice melts, the wind blows and streams begin to flow”.
As the spring rains soften the frozen grounds of winter, may the Holy Spirit soften our hearts, comfort our troubled minds, and bring our souls bursting alive by the warmth of its wonderful renewal. Amen
REFLECTION 3 - 19 FEBRUARY
The Lord’s Mercy is More
written by AC
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love… For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
52 years ago I went to a house party, the main reason I went was to play football! However, for the first time I heard that Jesus had died for me, my sins could be forgiven and I could become a follower of Jesus. I remember thinking that was for me and I became a Christian there and then, the beginning of my walk with Jesus!
Over the past months of Covid I have listened to a lot of music and the words of the chorus from a song entitled His mercy is more sum up these verses:
Praise the Lord His mercy is more, Stronger than darkness, new every morn, Our sins they are many, His mercy is more! Amen
REFLECTION 4 - 20 FEBRUARY
I Want to Know Christ
written by CR
Paul said “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
We recently sang a hymn which includes the words ‘for this I have Jesus’ – his personal help and presence. When I was first a Christian, I pictured Jesus with me as my friend and Saviour but perhaps over the years I may have lost the wonder of the Jesus who is fully God yet said ‘behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with them and they with me.’ (Rev 3: 20): an intimate picture of relationship and of Christ involved in my world, my place, my daily life. So this Lent I want to know…Jesus, to use His name and murmur it over all the circumstances I meet, claiming His love and power with me moment by moment.
Lord Jesus, come afresh into my life today and show me how to love you more, know you better and bring your presence into all I do. Amen
REFLECTION 5 - 21 FEBRUARY
written by AG
“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the LORD.
God will use pain in order to create a love relationship with His creation. If your theology is challenged, then consider this:
– God allowed Jesus to experience incredible pain in order to create an opportunity to have a relationship with His creation.
– Consider how Jesus created a relationship with Paul. He blinded him and used a crisis in his life in order to bring him into a relationship with him and use him for God’s purposes.
– Consider how God recruited Jonah for the mission He had for him – swallowed by a big fish for three days!
Lord, thank you that you will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born. Amen
REFLECTION 6 - 22 FEBRUARY
Giving Our All to God
written by IS
Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?...
Our reading in Luke shows us the standard Jesus expects. If we fail, we cannot be His disciples – it is that important!
To love Him more than anything, or anyone, is His expectation. He gave His life on the cross; was raised from the dead by the power of the Spirit and now calls us to follow Him.
How can we give our all to Him? By using the power of the Spirit to love Him more perfectly.
Almighty God, you sent your Son into our world to die on a cruel cross for sinners. Give us the inspiration to love you more fully and to serve you with our whole hearts.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
REFLECTION 7 - 23 FEBRUARY
God – Our Refuge
written by FW
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
These words are like a comfort blanket to me.
In our lives we can experience wonderful highs and also alarming lows, when we feel we have reached rock bottom. But if we have faith, it is not the bottom because God is still there.
It may be really difficult to cry out to Him, but if we do He will hear us and enfold us in his everlasting arms.
Dear Lord, help us to cry to you for your comfort and strength.
REFLECTION 8 - 24 FEBRUARY
written by MF
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
The number 40 in the Bible signifies a time of transition: Noah and the ark, Israelites in the wilderness, number of weeks to grow a baby, disciples waiting between Ascension and Pentecost.
Lent can also be a time of transition, a time to focus on God and reflect on where we’ve been, where we are and where God may be directing us next.
Father God, thank you for how you work to bring about newness and transformation in us. During this time of lent please help us to look to you, and put our trust in you, the champion of the universe. Amen