Lent – Day 1 Reflection (UPDATED with linky goodness)

I began participating in my first ever season of Lent (here’s a real 101 on the season) by using Scot McKnight’s 40 Days of Living the Jesus Creed (along with a decision to engage in a few other of the traditional elements of the season) . I’m still not completely sure what I’ve gotten myself into, but this is a journey of practice and engagement that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now.

So, here are some simple reflection thoughts from my first day of Lent:

  • McKnight’s first movement is to point to Jesus’ amending of the Shema. This thought alone is enough to make my brain bubble out of my ear a little.
  • Repeating a single passage throughout the day? Does repetition align behavior?*
  • I obviously am a little rusting on my remembrance of the Deuteronomy 6 passage, word for word.
  • If my central task is to love God and love others – how is this reflected beyond the personal recitation of a passage? Do I really believe that beyond anything else, these are my most important acts of life?
  • How deeply have I failed the Shema, and more importantly, God?
  • How incredibly good is God to forgive me when I am selfish instead of loving. It’s either sad or hilarious that he keeps letting me foul it up so many times, AND yet he lets me keep trying.
  • I’m getting a little better each time at it. One day I might actually figure a little of it out.
There are my non-succinct thoughts for day one. I’ll add links to definitions and books ater today. I wanted to get my reflection thoughts out on pen and paper website html as soon as I was ready.
If you are on the Jesus Creed journey, or  any other one for this season of Lent, I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

*Somewhere, deep inside me, a little, angry, fundamentalist voice is shouting something about “the whole Bible” and “not the Old Testament”..something, something. I keep trying to smother that voice – and one day I’m sure I’ll finish him off for good.

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12 Comments

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  1. My wife and I are a day late, reading the first chapter together tonight. I believe in the recitation process. I also like the way Jesus amended the Shema. And I wonder why the other writers end up only quoting/using the amended part.

  2. My wife and I are a day late, reading the first chapter together tonight. I believe in the recitation process. I also like the way Jesus amended the Shema. And I wonder why the other writers end up only quoting/using the amended part.

  3. My wife and I read the first chapter tonight, one day late. (Wednesday night Bible study is important.) I believe in the recitation process. And I like the amendment Jesus added. I wonder why the other writers only quote/use the amended part.

    • I think textually, I’ve been more struck by the difference between the Mark/Matthew and Luke telling of the story. In Luke’s narrative, Jesus is not the one amending, but agreed to the law experts summation of how one inherits eternal life. I don;t think anywhere in the Luke account Jesus teaches the amended Shema.

      This could be because his teaching was already spreading and this expert new this particular rabbi’s take on the law, or it could be for a variety of other reasons, I suppose. As a teacher, I know how much material get covered more than once, so his teaching being floated around in community is interesting as a thought.

      But back to my paint point… I am surprised how Luke provides the teaching here; if Luke stands alone as a story of the Messiah, the greatest command (the one that guides a personal into inheriting eternal life) is provided by a expert of the law, and merely confirmed by Jesus.

  4. My wife and I read the first chapter tonight, one day late. (Wednesday night Bible study is important.) I believe in the recitation process. And I like the amendment Jesus added. I wonder why the other writers only quote/use the amended part.

    • I think textually, I’ve been more struck by the difference between the Mark/Matthew and Luke telling of the story. In Luke’s narrative, Jesus is not the one amending, but agreed to the law experts summation of how one inherits eternal life. I don;t think anywhere in the Luke account Jesus teaches the amended Shema.
      This could be because his teaching was already spreading and this expert new this particular rabbi’s take on the law, or it could be for a variety of other reasons, I suppose. As a teacher, I know how much material get covered more than once, so his teaching being floated around in community is interesting as a thought.
      But back to my paint point… I am surprised how Luke provides the teaching here; if Luke stands alone as a story of the Messiah, the greatest command (the one that guides a personal into inheriting eternal life) is provided by a expert of the law, and merely confirmed by Jesus.

  5. And I’m so glad I posted my comments twice.

  6. And I’m so glad I posted my comments twice.

  7. I was struck as well by Jesus’ amendment to the Shema. I’m not sure that I had ever really looked at the source of the amendment in its entirety – Leviticus 19:18. The verse in some ways really qualifies the idea of loving your brother in action and at a heart level.

    “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge…but love your neighbor as yourself.”

    I’m not sure why this struck me so much. It seems that the culture around me idealizes and talks a lot about “community,” but in conversations with many I hear the murmurings of grudges and resentment. Jesus’ command for us to love our neighbors means that we proactively seek to release grudges, to forgive, and we certainly never seek revenge….or even secretly hope that Kharma seeks revenge for us.

    • We fall so short of even getting the spirit of this command, man. Our nature just seeks our own means and ends so easily. But I can’t point fingers on this one, because I fail miserably at it.

      I especially fail at this with other Christians who (I think are doing a terrible job of reflecting the Christ. I am most critical and spit the majority of my own venom at them.

      I feel as though church planting has increased my ministry of compassion and grace to my non-Christian friends, but has exacerbated my frustration, anger with my default community, Christianity. How messed up is that?!?!

  8. I was struck as well by Jesus’ amendment to the Shema. I’m not sure that I had ever really looked at the source of the amendment in its entirety – Leviticus 19:18. The verse in some ways really qualifies the idea of loving your brother in action and at a heart level.
    “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge…but love your neighbor as yourself.”
    I’m not sure why this struck me so much. It seems that the culture around me idealizes and talks a lot about “community,” but in conversations with many I hear the murmurings of grudges and resentment. Jesus’ command for us to love our neighbors means that we proactively seek to release grudges, to forgive, and we certainly never seek revenge….or even secretly hope that Kharma seeks revenge for us.

    • We fall so short of even getting the spirit of this command, man. Our nature just seeks our own means and ends so easily. But I can’t point fingers on this one, because I fail miserably at it.
      I especially fail at this with other Christians who (I think are doing a terrible job of reflecting the Christ. I am most critical and spit the majority of my own venom at them.
      I feel as though church planting has increased my ministry of compassion and grace to my non-Christian friends, but has exacerbated my frustration, anger with my default community, Christianity. How messed up is that?!?!

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