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World Vision Church Engagement and World Vision Resources produced this educational resource. Copyright © 2009 by World Vision Inc., Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716, wvresources@worldvision.org. All rights reserved.

Editorial Director: Milana McLead Editor-in-Chief: Jane Sutton-Redner Project Editor: Laurie Delgatto Author: Brittany Peters Contributing Authors: Billy Jack Blankenship, Scott Erickson David Hynds, Sara Pearsaul Vice, Kristie Urich, Christopher Yuan Copyeditor: Penny Bonnar Production and Design Coordination: Journey Group Inc.

The Scripture in this resource is from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Portions of the Lenten summary in the introduction are quoted or adapted from Tony Alonso, Return to the Lord: Praying and Living Lent (Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press 2007), page 1. Copyright © 2007 by St. Mary’s Press. All rights reserved. Portions of the Lenten summary in the introduction are quoted from Dorothy Sayers, Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005), Introduction. Copyright © by Orbis Books. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 8 is from Evelyn Underhill, The House of the Soul and Concerning the Inner Life (Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press 1984), page 30. Copyright © 1984 by Winston Press. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 8 is from Duane Elgin in Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective (Denver, CO: Living the Good News 1999), page 18. Copyright © 1999 Earth Ministry. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 15 is from Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2002), pages 120–121. Copyright © 2002 by Brennan Manning. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 18 is from Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex & Power (United Kingdom: Hodder & Stoughton Religious, 1999), page 36. Copyright © 1999 by Hodder & Stoughton Religious. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 18 is from Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way (New York: The Crossroads Publishing Company, 1992), page 26. Copyright © 1992 by the Crossroads Publishing Company. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 22 is from Norman Cousins, Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook (New York: WW & Norton, 1991), page 35. Copyright © 1991 by W. W. & Norton. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 22 is from Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking New York: Continuum Books, 1994), page 18. Copyright © 1994 by Continuum Books. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 25 is from Calvin M. Johansson in “Creativity: The Reformed View,” by Dr. Barry Liesch, at www.worshipinfo.com. Accessed December 1, 2008. Copyright © 1999 by Dr. Barry Liesch. The quotation on page 26 is from Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker (New York, NY: Continuum Publishing, 2005), page 17. Copyright © by Continuum. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 29 is from Frederick Buechner, Now and Then (San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1983), page 87. Copyright © 1983 by Harper & Row. All rights reserved. The quotation on page 30 is from William Gibson in Beyond Survival: Bread and Justice in Christian Perspective (Cincinnati, OH: Friendship Press, 1977), pages 137-138. Copyright ©1977 by Friendship Press. All rights reserved. During the preparation of this resource, all citations, facts, figures, names, addresses, telephone numbers, Internet URLs, and other cited information were verified for accuracy. World Vision Resources has made every attempt to reference current and valid sources, but we cannot guarantee the content of any source and we are not responsible for any changes that may have occurred since our verification. If you find an error in, or have a question or concern about, any of the information or sources listed within, please contact World Vision Resources.


A Call to Live L

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l e n t e n s t u dy g u i d e

In tro duction During Lent, people around the world come together in remembrance, celebration, and response to the story of Christ with the desire to be changed not just for a season, but also for the rest of our lives. In the Catholic and some Protestant traditions, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday when Christians are signed with ashes on their foreheads. The ashes are a sign of repentance, dating back to the Old Testament when King David shed his regal clothes for sackcloth and ashes as a sign of repentance and mourning.

“During Lent, Christians are encouraged to focus their energy on three disciplines: prayer, fasting and almsgiving (sharing our gifts with the poor). The extra time spent praying during Lent can lead us closer to God. During Lent we are encouraged to focus our prayer on the places in our lives and in our world that need improvement. Our fasting isn’t about denying ourselves as a sort of punishment, and it isn’t even about food. We fast from television, food, video games, computers, and other simple everyday indulgences so we can literally hunger for God. Our fasting also puts us in touch with those whose hunger is never filled because they live in poverty. Finally, our praying and fasting lead us to action.” —Tony Alonso, Return to the Lord: Praying and Living Lent

“To make the Easter story into something that neither startles, shocks, terrifies, nor excites is ‘to crucify the Son of God afresh.’ Certainly that would have been unthinkable for Jesus’ first followers, who experienced it firsthand: the heady excitement of his entry into Jerusalem, the traitorous cunning of Judas and the guilty recognition of their own cowardice, the terror of his slow suffocation, and finally the disarming wonder of an empty grave and a living body resurrected from the dead.” “As for us, his latter-day disciples, few would deny the magnitude or drama of these events. But how many of us embrace their pain and promise? How many of us, even at Easter, give Christ’s death and resurrection any more attention than the weather? Lent offers an opportunity ‘to strike at the root of such complacency. Lent (literally ‘springtime’) is a time of preparation, a time to return to the desert where Jesus spent—40 days readying for his ministry.’ First popularized in the fourth century, Lent is a time for giving things up, balanced by giving to those in need.” “Lent is not intended to be an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. It is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.” “Put another way, Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In him--in his suffering and death, his resurrection and triumph-- we find our truest joy.” —Dorothy Sayers, Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter


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how to use Th i s study This Lenten study invites individuals and groups to journey through the six weeks of Lent through reflection, prayer, celebration, and engagement in the ministry and life of Christ. The resource is designed to be as flexible as possible so you or your group can pray and reflect at your own pace and in a way that fits your schedule. Consider these possible uses: • • • • •

Self-study: for the individual wanting to experience the deeper meaning of Lent Small-group study: for those desiring to grow together during the season Family study: for a family wishing to learn and engage one another while preparing for Easter Web site posting: for churches wishing to post daily or weekly Lenten reflections for use by a congregation Bulletin posting: for churches wishing to duplicate and include in each week’s church bulletin or newsletter

Each week’s study offers a unique and engaging theme: • Week One: A Call to Live Simply • Week Two: A Call to Live Humbly • Week Three: A Call to Live Generously • Week Four: A Call to Live Compassionately • Week Five: A Call to Live Creatively • Week Six: A Call to Live Fully The resource provides you or your group with the tools to move from reflection, meditation, and celebration to action and engagement. There is no set schedule for how to use the study each day during the week; this allows you whatever time you need to reflect and meditate and study at your own pace. Week One of this study, “A Call to Live Simply,” begins on the first Sunday in Lent. From Ash Wednesday to this first Sunday, there is a shortened study that includes information about the global food crisis. Participants should read through this shortened study and complete the suggested activity before starting this first week’s study.


A s h W e d n e s d ay t o S at u r d ay

The Global Food Crisis: The Facts

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n spring 2008, massive shocks to the world food markets highlighted shortages and inequities in food availability and distribution. As a result, more people worldwide are experiencing chronic hunger. This situation is pushing vulnerable people into riskier actions and livelihoods in order to survive and provide food for their families. World Vision is working to enhance the work already under way to address the critical short- and long-term food needs of children, families, and communities.

The factors contributing to rising food prices include the following: • Rising fuel and transportation costs • Political turmoil and conflict • Growing populations and increased consumption of meat • Climactic variations, including droughts, floods, and storms that have destroyed harvests • Poor environmental care • Increased demand for food crops for use in producing biofuels • Speculation and hoarding of food commodities • Long-term issues such as unfair trade When food supplies are low, children are always the most vulnerable. The statistics are overwhelming: • 53 percent of all deaths of children younger than 5 are linked to hunger. • 4.8 million children die from hunger each year. That is 13,000 children a day, or one child every seven seconds. Even if a child does not die directly from starvation, malnutrition makes children more prone to—and likely to die from—illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and measles. The current crisis is exacerbating an already unacceptable situation. Increases in food prices could push another 100 million people deeper into poverty; 35 million of them will be children. Even a small increase in food prices hits the poor hard. The poorest people in developing countries can spend up to 75 percent of their income on food, leaving little left for things like education and health care. While the world produces more than enough to feed its entire population of some 6.5 billion, more than 963 million people go hungry every day. This is a grave injustice, and we can no longer claim ignorance to the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world. (Sources: “Malaria and Children: Progress Intervention Coverage,” UNICEF, 2007; “Nutrition for Health and Development,” WHO, 2007; “State of the World’s Children,” UNICEF, 2009; and The World Bank, FAO and Briefing Paper, Hunger on the Rise, 2008)

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Reflecting on the C ri s i s With the current economic turmoil, people may turn away from giving. When money is tight, it is hard to care about the suffering of those living so far away. You may be struggling to make ends meet yourself. But do you ever wonder if you will have food to eat tomorrow? Have you ever tried to survive on just one meal every few days? Can you imagine watching your child starve to death? The truth is that although there is a great deal of suffering in America, we rarely experience true starvation. There are so many safety nets in the form of shelters, food stamps, soup kitchens, etc. Very few of us know what it is like to be completely dependent on our own crops and have to watch our children suffer when the rainfall is scarce or the land fails to produce. As we begin this Lent season, it is important to remember that we do not give things up for the sake of tradition, ritual, or guilt. We give up so that we may be free to give. We may choose to give up watching TV so that we can use the time saved to tutor kids, or we may give up buying clothes so we can put the money toward helping someone. Part of the sacrifice is often giving our attention to God. When we let go of the things that consume our thoughts and time, we are freed to turn our thoughts toward God. The hope is that as we begin to loosen our grip on our “stuff” and turn our attention toward God, we will be open to sharing more and loving more. Reflect on the following questions: •

Before starting this study, were you aware that there is a global food crisis? Do you feel motivated to make a difference, or does the crisis seem so immense and distant that it is hard to believe that your efforts will have any impact?

Have you ever participated in Lent before? If so in what ways? Do you believe it is important to engage in Lent? If so, why?

Why do you desire to go through this Lenten study?

Think of something that would be difficult for you to give up during Lent. Why would this be difficult?

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Act ion During this shortened week, create a “Living Simply Jar.” This jar will be referred to often in the weekly action section of this study. Take a jar, coffee can, shoe box, or any other type of container and decorate it however you wish (use pictures, quotes, colorful paper, Scriptures, etc.). Place a marking on it that says “living simply so that others may simply live,” and use it to store money saved during Lent. At the end of Lent, donate the money toward the global food crisis. Consider using the jar throughout the year and donating to the same or different causes each month. This is a fun activity to do on your own or with a family or small group.

Where t o Give During this Lenten season, let us turn our eyes toward the global food crisis. Let us reflect on, pray about, and respond to the desperate needs of so many. If you desire to give toward the global food crisis, you’ll want to refer to the “Help Care for Hungry Children” handout, which can be found at the end of this resource. There you will find instructions on how and where to send your donations.

Stations o f t he C ro ss As preparation for the Easter celebration, consider reflecting on the Stations of the Cross. The stations have been spread out over six weeks, so you can take time each week to reflect, meditate, and pray as you read through the story of Christ’s journey to the cross. Week One: • Jesus on the Mount of Olives: Luke 22:39–46 • Jesus, betrayed by Judas, is arrested: Luke 22:47–48 Week Two: • Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin: Luke 22:66–71 • Peter denies Jesus: Luke 22:54–62 Week Three: • Jesus is judged by Pilate: Luke 23:13–25 • Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns: Luke 22:63–65; John 19:2–3 Week Four: • Jesus takes up the cross: Mark 15:20 • Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross: Luke 23:26 • Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem: Luke 23:27–31 Week Five: • Jesus is crucified: Luke 23:33, 47 • Jesus promises his Kingdom to the good thief: Luke 23:39–43 • Jesus on the cross; his mother and his disciple: John 19:25–27 Week Six: • Jesus dies on the cross: Luke 23:44–47 • Jesus is placed in the tomb: Luke 23:50–54; Mark 16:1–4

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A Call to Live Simply J esus o n Sim p li c i tY (Matthew 6:19–24)

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o not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is Fas t Fact » that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

One out of every seven people on earth goes hungry. —State of the World’s Children Report 2009

m y Journey to S i m pli c i ty —David Hynds, Web content specialist, Anderson University As strange as it sounds, I credit a cookbook as being the most influential piece of literature in my journey toward simplicity. One of my friends growing up was Mennonite. His mom always made incredible food, so one day on a whim I bought myself a Mennonite cookbook. When I arrived home, I opened it up and began reading. The book helped me discover the relationship between living simply and what I eat. For me, living simply is a journey; it was not an instantaneous transformation. I live in an intentional community with 10 other people. Over the past few years, our diet has transformed from including meat at least twice a day to including it, at most, twice a week. Since we also share groceries and buy grains in bulk, I spend less on food than anything else in my budget. I have more energy and feel healthier than ever before. Most importantly, I feel like I am making a small but meaningful contribution toward solving the problem of world hunger. Additionally, since this simple diet is dramatically less expensive, we are freer to open up our table to those around us. Our house hosts dinners on a weekly basis for friends and neighbors. The experience has reshaped my understanding of communion. The act of sharing a meal creates an unmistakable feeling of connectedness. Through the communal partaking of food and drink, we enter into communion with each other and in that unity become the body of Christ.

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In my experience living simply is not an ascetic denial of my own needs or a withdrawal into isolation. Rather, it is an act of identification with the larger body of Christ. I have found that by relinquishing my perceived right to independence and through embracing simplicity and the family of God, I am free to celebrate the abundance that God provides with the confidence that my celebration is not at the expense of others. This freedom and abundance is the very soil that yields new life.

Reflecting on S i m pli c i ty “Consider that wonderful world of life in which you are placed, and observe that its great rhythms of birth, growth, and death—all the things that really matter are not in your control. That unhurried process will go forward in its stately beauty, little affected by your anxious fuss. Find out, then, where your treasure really is. Discern substance from accident. Don’t confuse your meals with your life, and your clothes with your body. Don’t lose your head over what perishes. Nearly everything does perish: so face the facts, don’t rush after the transient and unreal. Maintain your soul in tranquil dependence on God; don’t worry; don’t mistake what you possess for what you are. Accumulating things is useless. Both mental and material avarice are merely silly in view of the dread facts of life and death. The White Knight would have done better had he left his luggage at home. The simpler your house, the easier it will be to clean. The fewer the things and the people you ’simply must have,’ the nearer you will be to the ideal of happiness ’as having nothing, to possess all.’” —Evelyn Underhill, The House of the Soul and Concerning the Inner Life

“Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world.” —Duane Elgin in Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective

Reflection Que sti o ns

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In the culture you grew up in or currently live in, what things are defined as needs? Why do you think these things are often seen as needs?

What “treasures” do you store up on earth? Are these items necessities or are they luxuries?


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What did Jesus mean when he said, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24)? What are some examples of how we serve money over God?

What did you learn from David Hynds’ story? How did his journey to simplicity free him to live better both locally and globally?

What do you think about Evelyn Underhill’s quote? How did it challenge you to see the things you possess differently?

What do you think about Evelyn Underhill’s statement, “Both mental and material avarice are merely silly in view of the dread facts of life and death”?

Do you agree with Duane Elgin’s quote that living simply is a compassionate approach to life? Why or why not?

In what ways do you currently “live simply”?

Living Sim ply This week, sit down and make a list of the luxuries and excess spending in your life. This may include things like buying new clothes, going out to eat often, or getting regular beauty treatments. Decide on one or a few items to give up during the six weeks of Lent and put the money you would normally spend on these items or services into your “living simply” jar. At the end of Lent, donate this money toward the global food crisis.

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Script ure for Furth e r Study These Scriptures relate to living simply. Read a few each day or all at once. Or you may decide to meditate and dig deeper into a certain passage throughout the week. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Mark 10:17–31 Matthew 6:25–34 1 Thessalonians 5:12–28 Luke 9:18–27 3 John Matthew 18:1–4 Luke 12:22–34 Genesis 1:31 Amos 5:24 Psalm 24:1 Mark 12:30 1 John 3:17 James 1:22 Romans 12:5 John 6: 8–11 James 2:15–16


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A Call to Live Humbly J esus o n Hum i li ty (Matthew 6:1–8; 23:11–12)

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e careful not to do your “acts of righteousness” before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Fas t Fact »

There are some 963 million undernourished people worldwide; 907 million undernourished people in developing countries.

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do —Source: The State of Food Insecurity in the World: not let your left hand know what your right hand “Hunger on the Rise, 2008” is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

m y Journey to H um i li ty —Kristie Urich, program manager, World Vision, United States I’d never thought of myself as a prideful person, which is, I suppose, a passive way of saying that I thought I was a very humble person. It took a significant adventure in life to reveal the depths of my pride. Humility is essential in the life of anyone, especially a follower of Christ, who hopes both to experience and have an impact on the world.

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Week Two

S e c o n d S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

I had long wanted to live overseas. I wanted to experience the world, learn new languages, and integrate into new cultures. I grew up fairly naïve, so I had no idea what cultural integration and experience of the world truly meant. Plus, I had very specific rules about where I would go. For instance, I did not want to go to Africa. In my mental stereotypes, I envisioned it as a dirty place with no electricity and strange food, including insects, to eat. At that point in my life, I believed my blow dryer was a necessity, not a luxury, and there was no way on earth I would ever, EVER, even touch a bug, let alone allow it to pass the portal of my lips. I was proven wrong on this level and many others through my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer. When I began my application process to the Peace Corps, I prayed for God to guide where I would go and what I would do. Secretly, I really wanted to be an English teacher in Eastern Europe or Asia. Secretly, I wished I would not be sent to Africa to eat bugs and have frizzy hair. Well, the Peace Corps invited me to be a health educator in Cameroon, a country in West Africa, which was as far away from where I wanted to go as I could get. I was sent to a village in the least-developed province in Cameroon. For two years, I lived miles away from a paved road, electricity, and clean water. My experience as a Peace Corps volunteer was a rich adventure. Among many things, it was an opportunity to be humbled. My fears of bad hair and bug eating proved frivolous. Prior to this experience, I took for granted all the luxuries I had in my life in the United States—from reliable electricity to drinkable water to health care to enough food. I quickly learned that I have so much more to learn than to give. I brought home so much more than I left behind. I was humbled by how helpless I was in the village context. Here I was, coming in as a Westerner from the “developed” world, with all this knowledge to impart to them. All the while, I was truly helpless without the those I came to serve. I needed someone to teach me the language. I needed a friend to teach me how to carry water on my head, how to cook local food, how to cut my grass with a machete, and how to bargain at the market. I needed people to reach out to me to befriend the strange, lone white woman who came to their village to “help.” The generosity and community I witnessed in the midst of poverty humbled me most. In my village, there were many living in poverty. I knew people who lost very young children because of diarrhea and malaria, families who didn’t know where their next meal would come from, mothers who felt compelled to sell their bodies to feed their children, and people who suffered and died of AIDS. Still, in the midst of all that, I experienced such welcoming generosity and colorful life, a life not focused on things and suffering but on courage and relationships. So, after two years of bad hair, bucket dents in my head, exotic food, wrenching heartache, and surprising joy, I returned home changed and deeply mindful that, without humility, we miss so many rich opportunities in life, both to touch and be touched by all kinds of people we’d never imagine meeting. Humility opens our hearts to truly listen to God and others. It opens our lives to engage courageously in new adventures. And bugs don’t taste too bad, either.

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Week Two

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Reflecting on H um i li ty “Humble men and women do not have a low opinion of themselves; they have no opinion of themselves, because they so rarely think about themselves. The heart of humility lies in undivided attention to God, a fascination with his beauty revealed in creation, a contemplative presence to each person who speaks to us, and a ‘de-selfing‘ of our plans, projects, ambitions, and soul. Humility is manifested in an indifference to our intellectual, emotional, and physical well being and a carefree disregard of the image we present. No longer concerned with appearing to be good, we can move freely in the mystery of who we really are, aware of the sovereignty of God and of our absolute insufficiency and yet moved by a spirit of radical selfacceptance without self-concern.” “Humble people are without pretense, free from any sense of spiritual superiority, and liberated from the need to be associated with persons of importance. The awareness of their spiritual emptiness does not disconcert them. Neither overly sensitive to criticism nor inflated by praise, they recognize their brokenness, acknowledge their gifts, and refuse to take themselves seriously.” —Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God

Reflection Que sti o ns •

Do you like to be acknowledged for your good works? Why or why not?

Why do you think God calls each of us to do acts of righteousness in secret? What attributes does this kind of giving require?

Think of a time that you received someone’s kindness anonymously. How did that make you feel?

Think of a time that you gave anonymously. What was that like?

How did Kristie Urich learn humility? How have you learned humility?

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Week Two

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What did you think about Brennan Manning’s quote? Does this description fit anyone you know? If so, who?

Do you ever mistake humility for self-rejection instead of self-acceptance without selfconcern? Why or why not?

How would your life change if you were completely unconcerned by what others thought of you and instead put all your attention upon God? Would this bring you freedom?

Living Hum b ly This week, challenge yourself to do kind things for others without being seen. Write someone an anonymous encouragement card. Anonymously donate money or volunteer your time at a place and not tell anyone about it. Challenge yourself to not tell people about the things you are giving up and the money you are putting in your “living simply” jar. Be creative in your desire to do good without the need for recognition.

Script ure for Furth e r Study These Scriptures relate to living humbly. Read a few each day or all at once. Or you may decide to meditate and dig deeper into a certain passage throughout the week. • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Matthew 5:3 Matthew 7:14 Matthew 11:29 Jeremiah 10:23–35 2 Corinthians 12:19 1 Peter 5:5–6 Romans 1:1–17 Isaiah 6:1–8 Matthew 23:1–12 Acts 10:1–48 Matthew 3: 1–17 Galatians 6:11–18


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A Call to Live Generously J esus o n Gene ro s i ty (Mark 12:41–44)

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esus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

m y Journey to G e ne ro s i ty —Billy Jack Blankenship, Minister of Children and Families, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church

Fas t Fact »

1.02 billion people are undernourished worldwide.

During my final year at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, I took a course called “A —Source: The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2009. Theology for Communities of Faith,” a class that discussed what it means to be Christian. One element of the class was to spend a week at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles. The mission is on Skid Row, the most condensed population of homeless people in Los Angeles. In an effort to learn more about different communities, we fed the homeless, volunteered with a local congregation, and spent time on the streets to engage people in the area. Our professor and tour guide was a man named Ron, a former pastor in the Los Angeles area for nearly 20 years. Ron was one of the very few saints that I have ever met. As we walked around Skid Row, people came out of shops, stores, alleys, and churches to greet him. It was like walking with a famous person. For every street and sidewalk we toured, he had a sociological context to offer us and some deep theological nugget for us to ponder. One stop on our tour was the corner of Florence and Normandy, the site where the 1991 riots erupted. As we were talking, a homeless man—bearded, dirty, and wearing tattered clothes— approached Ron, asking for a couple of dollars so he could get something to eat. Ron asked the man his name, chatted with him for a moment, and handed him a few dollars. As soon as the man walked away, one student (I will keep from naming him), with an annoyingly arrogant tone, asked Ron, “Why did you give him that money? You know he is just going to buy beer with it, or drugs even.” Ron, who is a very gracious person, paused for a moment, a good 30 seconds, looking off into the distance.

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week three

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Then he said something that has forever changed the way I view giving, sacrifice, and Lent. He looked at the student and said, “True, he might do that. But, you know, when I think about Jesus and the sacrifice he made, so we may be freed to live life to the full, I am very thankful that he didn’t say, ‘God, I don’t want to go through with it, because some of them are not going to do right with what I am giving them.’” Ron continued, “Jesus gave freely. He didn’t qualify his giving based on whether people would reject it. He just gave. We give because we are supposed to, not because of how they will use it. It is never wrong to sacrifice for another. The more we practice giving, the better the world will be.”

Reflecting on G e ne ro s i ty “Giving with glad and generous hearts has a way of routing out the tough old miser within us. Even the poor need to know that they can give. Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed.” —Richard J. Foster, Money, Sex & Power “Once we have given up our desire to be fully fulfilled, we can offer emptiness to others. Once we have become poor, we can be a good host. It is indeed the paradox of hospitality that poverty makes a good host. Poverty is the inner disposition that allows us to take away our defenses and convert our enemies into friends. We can only perceive the stranger as an enemy as long as we have something to defend. But when we say, ‘Please enter my house is your house, my joy is your joy, my sadness is your sadness, and my life is your life,’ we have nothing to defend, since we have nothing to lose but all to give.” —Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way

Reflection Que sti o ns

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pa g e 2

What can you learn from the story of the widow’s offering?

How often does our culture value quantity over the condition of one’s giving?

How does greed and measuring our worth against others make it hard to give generously?

What fears perpetuate your unwillingness to give?


week three

t h i r d s u n d ay o f l e n t t o s at u r d ay

Do you really believe that your finances belong to God? Why or why not?

Are you often hesitant to give because you are not sure how the money will be handled? Why or why not?

What did you learn from Billy Jack Blankenship’s story about Ron? Do you agree with Ron’s point that Jesus didn’t qualify his sacrifice based on what people would do with it, so we should also give freely?

How might you be transformed by simply letting go of the tight hold you may have on money?

What does Henri Nouwen’s quote have to do with this theme of generosity? Why do some think that having enough money will bring fulfillment? How can this misperception keep us from living generously?

Living Gen erous ly This week, make a list of reasons why you find it difficult to give generously. Write down fears, anxieties about the future, desire for more, etc. Take time to talk to God about your fear of trusting him when it comes to giving generously. Stretch yourself to be generous in the amount of money you put into your “living simply” jar this week, even if it feels uncomfortable.

Script ure for Furth e r Study These Scriptures relate to living generously. Read a few each day or all at once. Or you may decide to meditate and dig deeper into a certain passage throughout the week. • • • • •

Luke 6:36–50 Exodus 35:4–29 Mark 12:41–44 Philippians 4:10–23 Luke 7:36–50

• • • • •

Proverbs 11:24 Acts 20:35 2 Corinthians 9:6–15 Proverbs 19:17 Matthew 19:21

• • • • •

Luke 11:41 Deuteronomy 15:7 2 Corinthians 8:1–15 1 Timothy 6:6–21 Romans 12:8

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Week four

f o u r t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

A Call to Live Compassionately J esus on Co m passi o n (Matthew 25:31–45)

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hen the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Fas t Fact »

Higher food prices hurt the poorest of the poor, especially the landless poor and femaleheaded households in both urban and rural areas. —Source: The State of Food Insecurity, 2009

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

week 4

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Week four

f o u r t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

m y Jo urn ey to C o m passi o n —Sara Pearsaul Vice, freelance writer My church in Chicago has been teaching me how to live compassionately for most of my adult life. When I started attending in the early 1980s, LaSalle Street Church stood at the dividing line between the extreme wealth of the Gold Coast and the utter poverty of the Cabrini-Green public housing projects. Since then, gentrification has pushed away many of the poorer residents, but my church keeps reaching out to “the least of these,” which is all of us, really—rich or poor or somewhere in the middle. My church has taught me that the best place to live compassionately is right where you are. Over the years, the church has developed ministries to meet the needs of the people who come to its doors: a legal aid clinic, a tutoring program, meal programs for seniors and homeless people, an alternative high school, and more. Most recently, through World Vision, the church has stretched far beyond Chicago to support a community in Tanzania. As church members, we are invited to participate in any of our ministries, and my heart for compassion has grown through all of them. When you hear the stories of people who struggle against all odds, your heart is touched to do what you can. I’ve always appreciated that my church gives me ways to care tangibly, through acts of service, as well as financial contributions. I must confess that it’s fairly easy to extend compassion from a distance or for a short period of time. What’s really hard is living compassionately, year after year, when your emotions are rubbed raw from the suffering. That was my experience in caring for my dying mother. That’s where I learned to live compassionately, not just practice acts of kindness to strangers. I wish I could say that my faith carried me through on clouds of joy. But when my mother’s health problems grew worse over eight years, I thought that I might fall apart from the strain myself. As a single woman at the time, with other family members living far away, the burden of care fell entirely to me. I loved my mother and knew that her care was a sacred trust, but it was nevertheless difficult. Not only did I have the pain of watching my mother go through a series of health crises, but I also experienced my career crashing, along with my personal life, because I was spending so much time and emotional energy on my mother. I’m not sure how I made it through, but I do know that I was borne up by many friends who cared for my mother and me. One friend took out the trash at my mother’s home when I couldn’t be there. Another prayed with me and offered steady encouragement. My small group threw a birthday party for me. My pastor visited my mother and prayed at her bedside. A young woman from a home-health agency stayed with my mother 24/7 through her final months providing outstanding care. The Good Samaritan may have gone it alone in some respects, but even he had to enlist the help of the innkeeper. In my imperfect efforts to care for those around me, I have come to understand that we can only live compassionately when we have a tremendous amount of help. It’s the Body of Christ—the church— that is able to live compassionately. Each of us is just one small but vital part.

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Week four

f o u r t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

Reflecting on C o m passi o n “Compassion is not quantitative. Certainly it is true that behind every human being who cries out for help there may be a million or more equally entitled to attention. But this is the poorest of all reasons for not helping the person whose cries you hear. Where, then, does one begin or stop? How to choose? How to determine which one of a million sounds surrounding you is more deserving than the rest? Do not concern yourself in such speculations. You will never know; you will never need to know. Reach out and take hold of the one who happens to be nearest. If you are never able to help or save another, at least you will have saved one. To help put meaning into a single life may not produce universal regeneration, but it happens to represent the basic form of energy in a society. It also is the test of individual responsibility.” —Norman Cousins, Human Options: An Autobiographical Notebook

“Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” —Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking

Reflection Que sti o ns

week 4

pa g e 3

How often do you think about those around you as if they were Christ himself? How would this change the way you treat people?

What strikes you about Matthew 25:31-45? How does this passage challenge your view of what Christianity is all about?

What did you learn from Sara Pearsaul Vice’s story? How did she show compassion where she lived? Can you think of ways in which you can show compassion to those who are near you?

Do you feel overwhelmed when thinking about all of the world’s problems and have no idea where to start? Why or why not?

Does Norman Cousins’ statement challenge you to get beyond simply feeling overwhelmed and look to the needs of those in front of you?


Week four

f o u r t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

Have you ever thought of compassion the way Frederick Buechner describes it? How would this view change the way you live?

Recall a time when someone offered you true compassion. How did that experience affect you?

Living Com passi o nate ly As you encounter different people this week, remember Matthew 25:31–45 and ask God to help you see the spirit of Christ in those you come across. Keep a listing or journal on how this changes your interactions. Are you more patient, attentive, kind, and encouraging to others? Look for ways to reach out to the lonely, lost, and hurting in this world. Remember that whatever you do to the “least of these,” you do to Christ. Show compassion to the people immediately around you. This week, as you continue to sacrifice and put your saved money toward the global food crisis, remember Christ’s words: “When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat.”

Script ure for Furthe r Study These Scriptures relate to living compassionately. Read a few each day or all at once. Or you may decide to meditate and dig deeper into a certain passage throughout the week. • • • • • •

Luke 6:27–36 John 15:9–17 John 11:1–44 Luke 15:1–10 Job 31:13–23 Luke 10:25–37

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week five

f i f t h s u n d ay o f l e n t t o s at u r d ay

A Call to Live Creatively J esus on Creati vi ty (Mark 6:30–44)

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he apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

Fas t Fact »

Around one sixth of all humanity are hungry and undernourished worldwide. —Source: The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2009

They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

week 5

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week five

f i f t h s u n d ay o f l e n t t o s at u r d ay

A Journey to C re ati vi ty —Scott Erickson, Seattle artist Before we get to the feeding of the 5,000, let’s back up a bit and see where Jesus and the disciples are coming from. Jesus sends the disciples out to go and preach that men should repent, heal, and cast out evil spirits. They come back and tell him all the amazing things that happened along the way. Jesus decides to take them away to a secluded place to be together. But because of Jesus’ popularity at the time, a large crowd sees where he is going and gets there before they do, ruining the retreat. Jesus has such great compassion on the crowd, though, that he decides to skip the retreat and teach the people until late in the evening. In the evening, the disciples, in all their good intentions, come to Jesus with a well-thought-out, seemingly righteous, suggestion to send the people on their way so they can go get some food, because hey, people need to eat! But this is Jesus we are talking about, and he can usually turn our well-intentioned plans its head head. And he does. ... by telling the disciples to feed the people. But how, Jesus? Are we supposed to spend thousands of dollars on food to feed everyone? We don’t have that?. Jesus replied, “Well, what do you have? Go look.” One of the main obstacles that I had to overcome in my own life in dealing with justice issues is that I thought I needed to be someone else to be involved in the work that needs to be done. I thought I needed to be a doctor, a lawyer, a senator, or a millionaire to be able to do anything to help . . . and I wasn’t any of those things. I remember praying in my apartment, saying, “God, I care about Africa, but I’m just a painter in Seattle. If I can help, will you show me what to do?” I had come to some wise and well-thoughtout conclusion that the only way to be involved in justice issues was to be something other than I already was. And when I felt the call from God to do something, I came to him, saying, “I’m not what’s needed, so I can’t be used.” But he said, “I want you to be involved.” I replied, “I don’t have any of those things that are needed.” And he said, ”Well, what do you have? Go look.” I am an artist, and being creative is something that I do on a daily basis. As I’ve looked to see what I do have, I realized I am a storyteller. I’m able to tell the stories of those who don’t have voices through my art. But I think living creatively isn’t reserved just for artists. The definition of “creative” is having imagination or original ideas. That isn’t just for the artist, but for the accountant, the mom, the teacher, the flight attendant, the student, everyone. And I guarantee you, as we follow Jesus and come to him with our wise excuses . . . his response to us will be “Well, what do you have? Go and look.” You’re invited to help.

Reflecting on C re ati vi ty “If one were to ask an unbiased observer to name that institution in our society which clearly espouses creativity, we can be sure that he would not name our 20th-century church. This is an indictment of how we Christians feel about the mandate God has given us for being creative ... We do not embrace creativity as a way of life . . . We do not see it as having much to do with Biblical living.” —Calvin M. Johansson in “Creativity: The Reformed View”

week 5

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week five

f i f t h s u n d ay o f l e n t t o s at u r d ay

“How then can he [man] be said to resemble God? . . . When we turn back to see what he says about the original upon which the ‘image’ of God was modeled, we find only the single assertion, ‘God created.’ The characteristic common to God and man is apparently that: the desire to make things.” —Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker

Reflection Que sti o ns

week 5

pa g e 3

Have you ever read the story of the loaves and fishes as a story of creativity? Did you get more out of it when you read Scott’s story and his view of this passage? Why or why not?

Can you relate to Scott Erickson’s feelings of not having the “right” skills to make a difference in the world? Why or why not?

What have you been told you need in order to be effective?

How can you use the gifts you already have to serve God?

Do you agree with Calvin Johansson’s statement about the Church not being a place for creativity? Why or why not? Do you think this should change?

How is creativity the characteristic common to God and humans? Do you agree with Sayer’s assertion? Why or why not?


week five

f i f t h s u n d ay o f l e n t t o s at u r d ay

Living Creat i ve ly This week, create a piece of art (individually or as a group). You can paint, sculpt, draw, or create any other form of art. In your artwork, express where you are in your relationship with God. In addition, take some time to make a list of the gifts, talents, and skills that you have been blessed with. You may wish to ask your friends and family about the gifts they see in you. Reflect on these gifts and come up with some creative ways that you can use these talents to raise money for the global food crisis.

Script ure for Furthe r Study These Scriptures relate to living creatively. Read a few each day or all at once. Or you may decide to meditate and dig deeper into a certain passage throughout the week. • • • • • • • •

Exodus 35:30–36:2 Genesis 1:26–28 Isaiah 43:15–21 Numbers 16:30 Isaiah 41:17–20 Psalm 33:3 Ephesians 2:10 Romans 12:1–2

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Week six

s i x t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

A Call to LIVE! J esus on Living Fully (John 10:7–18)

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herefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Fas t Fact »

More than 176 million children under the age of 5 worldwide are underweight. —Source: UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report, 2009

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

A Journey to N ew L i f e —Christopher Yuan, professor at Moody Bible Institute What many would consider their worst nightmare had become a reality for me. In 1992 while attending dental school, I began living a promiscuous lifestyle and experimenting with illicit drugs. To support my habit, I began selling drugs. Within a few years, I was expelled from dental school and later moved to Atlanta where I became a supplier to other dealers in more than 11 states. But little did I know that my mother, who had just began a relationship with the Lord, was praying and fasting for me. God answered my mother’s prayer one day as 12 federal drug enforcement agents and Atlanta police made a little house visit. I was imprisoned for drug dealing. I had started with a bright future but found myself among common criminals . . . trash. I didn’t think things could get any worse. But I was wrong.

week 6

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Week six

s i x t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

A few days before Christmas in 1998, I was called to the jail’s nurse’s office. Handcuffed and bound, I sat in a cold clinic office and was informed that I was HIV-positive. The days afterward were dark and lonely. But one night as I was lying in my bunk, I noticed in the metal bed above me something scribbled. It read, “If you’re bored, read Jeremiah 29:11.” Not knowing what that meant, I got up and found a Bible and read, “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” I had no idea what God’s plans were for my life, but God gave me enough faith, enough strength to get through that one day, and then the next, and then the next. As I was immersing myself in the Bible, God began to convict me and set me free from my dependencies with drugs. God called me to full-time ministry while in prison, and I found a joy and peace as I realized that each day was a blessing from God. I was released from prison in 2001 and began studying at Moody Bible Institute and graduated in 2005. Then, in 2007, I received a master of arts in biblical exegesis from Wheaton College graduate school. Now I teach at Moody in the Bible department while continuing my speaking ministry, which has reached four continents around the world. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus not only wants us to have a full life but he wants us to live fully. Most of us are prone to procrastination and live by the mantra, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” However, as followers of Jesus Christ, we must live as if we had no tomorrow. It took getting HIV for me to realize that I must live with a sense of urgency. Actually, I am no different than any of you. Nobody is promised tomorrow. But God has given us today. So let us not waste a minute and let us realize our call to live fully.

Reflecting on L i vi ng Fully “I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such a limited and limiting life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up onto extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day’s work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hautingly. . . . If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.” —Frederick Buechner, Now and Then

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Week six

s i x t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

“The abundance to which Jesus pointed was explicitly not the abundance of possessions. It was the abundance of the restored relationship, the God-relationship. It was the freedom to enjoy the community— the giving-and-receiving relationship with one another for which we were created.” —William Gibson in Beyond Survival: Bread and Justice in Christian Perspective

Reflection Que sti o ns

week 6

pa g e 3

What do you think life to the full looks like?

What does our culture say is the abundant life? What does Christ say is the abundant life? By which definition of life do you live?

What did you learn from Christopher Yuan’s story? What did it take for him to realize how precious life is? Do you live in the reality that each day is a gift and we are not promised tomorrow?

What do you think about Frederick Buechner’s summon to listen to your life? What would change if you began to pay more attention to God’s presence?

What does Buechner mean when he says, “Life itself is grace”?

Do you agree with William Gibson that life abundantly is found in relationship and not in possessions? How do you live in this reality?

How can your life better align with the life Christ intended for you?

How has your journey throughout the past weeks of Lent brought you to a greater understanding of what it means to have life abundantly in Christ? What have you learned that will change the way you live?


Week six

s i x t h S u n d ay o f L e n t t o S at u r d ay

Living Fully This week, write your own present-day story. You have been reading the stories of others throughout the past weeks—now it is your chance. Write about a moment that changed the course of your life or a summary of your whole life journey. Everyone has a story to tell, and each is as significant as another. We have each been invited into God’s story, and we have a choice as to how our story will play out. Maybe your story is full of brokenness or resentment, but it is not too late to change the ending. Do you need to mend some broken relationships or let go of resentment that has held you captive for years? Jesus has come that we may have life abundantly; this is not a life free of heartbreak and pain, but it is a life in which we are free to love without conditions and look beyond our own needs to the needs of others. We have spent the past six weeks reflecting on and celebrating the life and sacrifice of Christ. Throughout this time you have been encouraged to give up so that you may be free to give. At the end of this week, take the money you have saved/collected/raised and donate it towards the global food crisis. At the end of this study is a sheet titled “Help Care for Hungry Children.” This page will explain how and where to send money for the global food crisis. Thank you for helping to save lives!

Script ure for Furthe r Study These Scriptures relate to living life to the full. Read a few each day or all at once. Or you may decide to meditate and dig deeper into a certain passage throughout the week. • • • • • • •

Isaiah 61:1–11 Philippians 1:20–22 John 8:31–38 Colossians 2:6–23 Galatians 5:13–25 Romans 6:15–23 2 Corinthians 3:12–18

week 5

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Help Care for Hungry Children He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. —Psalm 146:7

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e invite you to partner with us in providing life-saving food and hope for children affected by the global food crisis. Every day, more than 13,000 children die because of hunger. The funds you give will go toward the following: • Emergency food relief • Seeds and livestock • Agricultural training • Training in how to choose and prepare nutritious foods

Your gift will provide emergency food aid and help families become food-secure for the future.

What t o d o : Take the money saved during Lent and donate it individually or collect it and donate as a group. Complete the bottom portion of this page and return to World Vision. This will ensure your donation is processed and the funds are distributed correctly. Please make checks payable to World Vision. Another option is to donate online. Go to www.worldvision.org/lent and click the icon titled “Give to the Global Food Crisis.” Please continue to pray for those whose lives have been affected by the food crisis. Thank you for helping to save lives! To learn more about the global food crisis, visit www.worldvision.org.

Send your gift t o : 34834 Weyerhaeuser Way S. P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 www.worldvision.org

Yes, we will help provide assistance to children and families affected by the food crisis.



Enclosed is a gift of $ _____________________________________________________

FOR:  ETHIOPIA  KENYA  UGANDA  WHERE MOST NEEDED

Church Name ______________________________________________________________

PHONE ___________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________________________________

E-MAIL ____________________________________________

City ________________________________________ State ______ Zip ________________

SENIOR PASTOR ___________________________________

Source Code: 12931370


a c a l l to l i v e

l e n t e n s t u dy g u i d e

About World V i s i o n World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, World Vision serves alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. We envision a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. We know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. World Vision is unique in bringing nearly 60 years of experience in three key areas to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. We bring our skills across many areas of expertise to each community where we work, enabling us to support children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Partnering with World Vision provides tangible ways to honor God and put faith into action. By working, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of children and families who are struggling to overcome poverty. To find out more about how you can help, visit www.worldvision.org. For information on ways your church can be engaged in issues of global poverty, HIV and AIDS, and advocacy, contact: World Vision Church Engagement P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Church@WorldVision.org 1-888-303-2003 www.worldvision.org/churches

About World V i s i o n R e s o urc e s Ending global poverty and injustice begins with education: understanding the magnitude and causes of poverty, its impact on human dignity, and our connection to those in need around the world. World Vision Resources in the publishing ministry of World Vision. World Vision Resources educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to respond, and equips them with innovation resources to make a difference in the world. For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 1-888-511-6548 wvresources@worldvision.org www.worldvisionresources.com


World Vision Resources Mail Stop 321 P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 Fax: 253-815-3340 wvresources@worldvision.org

A Call to Live - A Lenten Bible Study  

This Lenten study invites individuals and groups to journey through the six weeks of Lent through reflection, prayer, celebration, and engag...

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