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Lenten Daily Devotion for Mar. 11 written by ElRay Stewart Cook

Theme : Relying on God

It is an open secret that Lent is not my favorite season of the Church Year.  I love purple, the color of Lent, which you will see me wear frequently.  I love the hymns and choral music of Lent.  It’s just Lent, itself that I strain against.  I presume that it is related to you my childhood and youth, when the church which my parents reared me in had a heavy emphasis on guilt and shame as a motivator for people to “be good!”  Once I rejected that theology, I suppose that I believed that I had enough guilt and shame for a lifetime, that I jettisoned the concepts of guilt and shame.   I am more of an Easter person, with joy abounding. 

I love all of the banners at Central Lutheran – I admired them as a U of O student when I would come and practice on the Brombaugh each week, long before I took the post here as organist/choirmaster. Particularly as an art history lover, I am very fond to the medieval Tuch cloth that Pastor Trost brought back from Germany in the 1980s that hangs above the pulpit during Lent.  It is so medieval and so Germanic in the images that it portrays - mostly scenes from the bible from a clear medieval point of view.  As a musician, I also love the psalms.  One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 130 which Martin Luther also set as a hymn.

“Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord, O Lord hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. . . . I wait for you, O Lord; My soul waits for the Lord in your word is my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord more than those who keep with for the morning. O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord, there is steadfast love; with the Lord there is plenteous redemption. For the Lord shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

Let us pray. Gracious God, you continue to wait for us with forgiveness through your Son Jesus Christ and embrace us as your beloved children. Guide us to love and serve one another with open hearts as you serve us. Amen.     

Submitted by Andrew ElRay Stewart-Cook

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