Lent – March 25

Wednesday night, March 25, we encourage all members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Nampa to pray this devotional at 7pm. You may wish to light a candle as a way of inviting the light of Christ into your sacred space.

Our theme for midweek Lent evening prayer is Open our Lives.

Photograph by Trinity member Mary Braudrick

March 4 was “Open our Eyes.”

March 11 was “Open our Hands.”

March 18 was “Open our Ears.”

March 25 is “Open our Hearts.”

Psalm 141 (Song of Forgiveness and Protection)

1 I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;
give ear to my voice when I call to you.
2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

3 Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not turn my heart to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with those who work iniquity;
do not let me eat of their delicacies.

5 Let the righteous strike me;
let the faithful correct me.
Never let the oil of the wicked anoint my head,
for my prayer is continually
against their wicked deeds.
6 When they are given over to those who shall condemn them,
then they shall learn that my words were pleasant.
7 Like a rock that one breaks apart and shatters on the land,
so shall their bones be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.

8 But my eyes are turned towards you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenceless.
9 Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me,
and from the snares of evildoers.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I alone escape.

Litany (Sundays and Seasons)

Open our hearts, Lord, to behold your laws. Teach us to walk in your commandments.

Grant us grace to know and understand your will, for all that we are in body and soul is a gift from you.

Lord, you are the everlasting Truth, the one who speaks the words of eternal life.

Open our hearts, Lord, to behold your laws. Teach us to walk in your commandments.

(Based on Thomas à Kempis, 1380–1471, The Imitation of Christ, trans. Richard Whitford, ca. 1530)

Prayer (Sundays and Seasons)

Open our hearts, Lord, and fill us with your love. Grant us strength and courage, remove our hard-heartedness, and turn us always to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Readings

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

6As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. 12There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. 13In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also.

Acts 16:11-15

11 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.

Open Hearts

What do loving hearts look like during a pandemic when we are asked to practice physical distancing? Love looks like an empty sanctuary, because when we do not gather in large groups we do not put one another at risk and we slow down the spread of the virus, which in turn helps everyone working in healthcare.

Love looks like an empty church

Love looks like participating in the census online so that dollars are allocated correctly, so that infrastructures can serve the people.

Love looks like brightening up your corner of the world with some color, using a coloring book or Chalking the Walk.

Love looks like sending cards to people in your lives who may be isolated or overwhelmed.

Prayer

O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works: give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever. Amen. (ELW p. 317)

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.
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