Lenten devotion: Waking

News | February 27, 2020

Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. –Philippians 4:9

Many mornings, I realize when the alarm rings that I have been awake for just a few moments already. Is there a click or hum or some electrical field disturbance that registers subconsciously, so that I anticipate the alarm? I haven’t been able to detect one, but who knows? Or perhaps I am just so much a creature of habit that my body counts off in heartbeats how long I sleep, so that it can prepare me for the alarm.

The habits of our Christian lives also prepare us for the moments when God calls. Does someone need a word of encouragement? Regular prayer, individual or communal, can equip us with the words. Familiarity with the dynamics of Scripture readies us to name God at work in our lives where some may see only chance or impersonal forces. Does a simple gesture seem too insignificant to meet life’s hardest situations? As we receive Holy Communion every week, it shapes us and reassures us that the simplest of gestures can make God really present and nourish someone for life.

The habit that primes every individual pump for responding to God each day is reconnecting with the cross. In whatever way we do that – with a gaze, a gesture, a pendant – we ground ourselves again in the sign of our first call from God, our baptism.

Christ our Model, teach us the habits of godly life that prepared you for your ministry and self-giving love. Let those habits keep us close to God, ready us to hear the call to serve whenever it comes, and equip us as ministers of grace. Amen.

Editor’s note: Peter A. Pettit, teaching pastor, has written a devotion for each of the 40 days of Lent. Sign up to receive them by email.

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