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  • Emalee Lane

SHALOM | Feb 26-Mar 3, 2024



To catch up with our Lent journey, check out this post that explains our practice.


Do what makes you happy. We often hear this refrain championed as the way to walk through life. More often than I’d like to admit, I accept the challenge and do just that. I gravitate towards comfort, towards the things that make me feel good. This shows up in my life to varying degrees, in a myriad of different ways. In the foods I eat, the social engagements I choose to accept or decline, the things I buy, the mindless scroll on social media or binging tv. I create a space of escape where I feel in control and comfort reigns. But in the midst of that, God is moved to the periphery. I find myself saying yes to me, instead of saying yes to God.


This is not to say God doesn’t want us to be happy. Far from it. Jesus himself is joy embodied. Rather, it’s in partnering with God in his kingdom where there is a true and lasting joy and peace - one that looks different than our own fleeting attempts to conjure up comfort. A friend recently asked me what the highlights of the last year were. I surprised myself by responding that one would be learning to step outside my comfort zone more. For someone whose default is often ‘no thanks’ if something feels hard or uncomfortable, much of the joy in the last year was found in saying yes to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It was in the space of trusting God to be faithful to his promise “my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”, where there was goodness and growth.


I think of John 10 where Jesus calls his sheep out of the pen to follow him into the pasture. We are given the choice, stay within the fences where it might feel familiar and comfortable or follow the Good Shepherd into the wild where there is abundance and wholeness. Where in the presence of God, shalom reigns.


 

READ

John 14:27 | John 10:2-4


REFLECT

How is the wanting of comfort expressed in my life?

What entanglements are showing up in my life as a result of chasing after this want?

If my wanting of comfort is actually a shared longing with God for shalom, what might pursuit of shalom over comfort look like?


RESPOND

Start with a confession. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal barriers to surrender that arise in you.

I confess that I have wanted ____ more than ____.

I confess the ways that I have become entangled by this want and renounce the lie that ____.

Now, choose repentance by turning toward God.

I confess that you are God and I am not and that your longing for ____ is actually my deeper longing.


FAST

As a way of living into your repentance, consider fasting from what brings you comfort this week.

Take the week off from what entertains, distracts or delights.


RECEIVE

Read Psalm 23. Right in the middle of our entanglements (our enemies), Jesus meets us with love and provision.

Holy Spirit, what do you want to give me from the table you have prepared for me?


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