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I have personally enjoyed and been challenged by the devotional portion of the Lent † Daily 2017 study. It has allowed me to reconnect with an old devotional classic, Thomas a Kempis' The Imitation of Christ.
My first exposure to this book was actually from my youth pastor, Matt, when I was in high school. I remember being so impressed by not only Matt's humor, but also by his depth of knowledge of God. I remember asking him how I might get to know God the way that he did. Without missing a beat, Matt recommended The Imitation of Christ and later emailed me a PDF version which I printed out with joy.
As I poured myself into the book, my wonder and enthusiasim quickly turned to puzzlement, even frustration. A Kempis' world seemed so different than mine. I was confronted with what humility and true devotion in prayer meant for perhaps the first time. I could barely read a page without having to stop, think, and pray, asking God to help me understand him in this way.
Returning to this book again almost 15 years later, many of my thoughts are the same. Yes, I have grown in many ways, thanks be to God, but the challenge of following Jesus still comes to me afresh. A section from the March 5 reading has stuck with me this Lenten season.
"In You alone is all that I desire and long for. Therefore let all teachers keep silence and let all creation be still before You; do You, O Lord, speak alone."
This Wednesday, March 22, we'll be leading students in a small group prayer stations experience. There will be times of silence, and space to hear God speak. It is our hope that students would learn to desire and long for God more during this Lenten season.
The Rev. Taylor IshiiDirector of Student Ministry
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