Walking to the Cross, A Lenten Devotional

Three years ago my first devotional was published, Walking to the Cross. The print version sold out last week, but if you are looking for a Lenten devotional, it is available online here. Have a blessed season of Lent. Butch

Walking to the Cross Cover 2012

Easter Sunday 2014 – Matthew 28:1-5

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Matthew 28:1-5After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.

I enjoyed the television show Touched by an Angel, a show where angels appeared to people and helped them during times of hardship. While I know many consider this show a fantasy, it is my wish that during those times of the greatest trials ahead of me, an angel’s presence will help me discern the path I am to take.

Everlasting God, give us discerning hearts so that we can recognize the angels you have placed among us. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Psalm 118:17-19

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Psalm 118:17-19I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.

I was a normal child growing up, and I was punished by my parents when it was deserved. That said, my love for my parents has never wavered. We are reminded by today’s passage that our love for God should be like that for a parent.

Loving God, help us to love you without hesitation. Help us to love you as our perfect parent. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Jeremiah 31:1-3

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jeremiah 31:1-3At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the LORD: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

I am comforted by these words from God to Jeremiah. God’s love for us is everlasting. God remains faithful to us.

Merciful God, thank you for remaining faithful to us even during those times when our faith in you wavers. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Acts 10:34-35

Monday, April 14, 2014

The bleakness and sadness of Holy Week leads us to the joy and hope of Easter Sunday. Our Easter scriptures for this year include: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43 and John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8.

Acts 10:34-35Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
These verses are important to me in my own faith journey with others. These verses acknowledge that people can love God and live faithfully, even in ways that are different from me.

Understanding God, help us to be more tolerant of our brothers and sisters who might see you somewhat differently than we do. Amen.

Palm Sunday 2014 – Matthew 27:57-60

Friday, April 11, 2014

Matthew 27:57-60When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.

I have come to think of Joseph of Arimathea as a hero of the Passion narrative. Peter has denied Jesus three times, so disciples are distancing themselves from being associated with Jesus. But Joseph believes Jesus deserves a proper burial so he approaches Pilate to ask for Jesus’ remains – an act of love and of bravery.

Steadfast God, help us to be faithful at all times, especially when being faithful to you is hard. Amen.

Palm Sunday 2014 – Psalm 31:9-10

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Psalm 31:9-10Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.

The mission of the Church Health Center is to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and our spirits. Today’s passage reminds us of the intimate connection between our physical and our spiritual health to which our mission refers.

Healer God, be with us in our efforts as we try to help others reach their highest level of wellness. Amen.

Palm Sunday 2014 – Philippians 2:5-7

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Philippians 2:5-7Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

I was once asked in college if I thought Jesus was the actual Son of God or just a prophet. I acknowledged my Christianity, but I added that the distinction really didn’t matter to me. Jesus offered the best example of how a person of faith should act.

Loving God, help us to treat each other in ways that reflect our understanding of your Word. Amen.


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