ONLINE LENTEN DEVOTION 2017 Breathing Under Water

 

Our Online Lenten Devotion uses Richard Rohr’s book, Breathing Under Water and Pastor Melissa Earley’s sermon series on the book.  Rohr connects the Gospel and the Twelve Step Program.  Addiction can be a helpful metaphor for sin as it helps us how God can heal us in the depth of our soul. Each week, we will a few discussion questions and own reflection. Please join the discussion by commenting in the comments box.

Week 1 – “Sweet Surrender” (Sermon March 5, 2017)

By Margaret Moyer

Step 1:  We admitted we were powerless over alcohol(or sin) – that our lives had become unmanageable.

 How do we as people of faith react to the chaos around us, if we are the true ministers we are meant to be?

 Even if we don’t have a problem with alcohol, we all are addicted to something. All of us are addicted to OUR way of seeing reality, “stinking thinking”.  Our Ego (that part of each of that insists “it’s all about me”)  hates change or acknowledging the need to change.

I worry as I hear how U.S. politics have gotten so crazy with the new President in office.  There are so many different strong opinions around us.  And I have my own!  It seems that there are so many unhappy people of all ages.

 

Step 2:  We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

 Have you ever had a problem that you couldn’t handle alone?  How did you find what you needed?

 This is a surrender to faith that probably doesn’t happen immediately.  It may be a journey, a gradual letting go, unlearning and handing over that takes several attempts.  Surrender involves our opening of our heads, hearts and bodies all together.  The works of the church help us with this so that we are able to truly turn to God as our ultimate Source.

When I finally felt so vulnerable, ashamed, and inadequate as a parent of a rebellious teenager, I made an appointment with my pastor.  He calmly reassured me and gave me some resource names and numbers to call.  Those resources of the church became good friends and helped me tremendously through those times.

 

Step 3:  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

 Have you ever basked in the joy of letting go and letting God?

We finally say no to ourselves and surrender our will to Another whom we trust more than ourselves.  We make the decision to accept the love and mercy that God gives us – true grace!

I have experienced being on my knees pleading with God to please take control of an issue in my life, – that I fully accepted God’s will and not my own – but Thy will be done.  It is then that I am aware of my control issues that are out of control.  There is such love, relief and joy when I fully let go and realize the miraculous results.  I wonder why I will probably have to be reminded again when I am unconsciously trying to control another issue.  Practice makes perfect?  Thank you, Holy Spirit!

 

 Related Scripture Passages:

Luke 5:29-32  Then Levi threw a great banquet for Jesus in his home.  A large number of tax collectors and others sat down to eat with them.  The Pharisees and their legal experts grumbled against his disciples.  They said, “ Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do.  I didn’t come to call righteous people but sinners to change their hearts and lives.”

Luke 9:23-25  Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily and follow me.  All who want to save their lives will lose them.  But all who lose their lives because of me will save them.  What advantage do people have if they gain the whole world for themselves yet perish or lose their lives?

John 12:24  I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit.

 

HAPPENINGS THIS WEEK:

Sunday, March 12
March Madness Trivia during fellowship
11:30  Next Step Class
3:00 Rally for Kindness – Greenbriar Field
5:30  Breathing Under Water class

Categories: Lent Devotional
  • Melissa Earley

    It’s hard to ask for help. I learned an important lesson from a choir director I worked with early in my ministry. I was lamenting not being able to sing and she said, “Melissa, if you could sing you needn’t need to ask for other people to lead singing.” I think of her when I’m asking folks to help me with someone – I might be giving them a chance to use their particular gift.

    Melissa Earley