The Light on the Hill

Lenten Devotions 2020

Missed one of the devotions? Here they all are.

Day 1 – Wednesday, 26 February

“Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven.”
– read Psalm 32

Reflection by a member of the community
Strands of colourful fluffy plaited wool
An old gnarled rope strong enough to hoist a sail
An imperceptible spider’s silk only seen when the light is just right
A wire that vibrates sending music into the air
A life-giving life-sustaining umbilical cord

Everyone’s cord of hope feels a little different and yet
we are tethered inextricably to the divine in our midst
for nothing can separate us from the love of God.
This is our hope.
~ Jennifer Hughes

Day 2 – Thursday, 27 February

“Let all who are faithful offer prayer to you at a time of distress.”
– read Psalm 32

Reflection by a member of the community
Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the one whose failings are covered, covered again, re-covered.
Blessed is the one who is tucked in tight…
The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in in the Lord.

Blessed, forgiven and loved.
~ Ruth Sims


Day 3 – Friday, 28 February

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted.”
– read Matthew 4:1-11

Reflection by a member of the community
Rarely is the humanity of Jesus more obviously displayed than in his temptation in the desert. It is a great comfort to know that he shares the struggle to find his calling and vocation just as we do. We learn that the path of faith lies in knowing the word of God and putting God first.
~ Ian Price

Day 4 – Saturday, 29 February

“Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.”
– read Matthew 4:1-11

Reflection by a member of the community
The practice of regular prayer, engaging with Scripture and abiding in a worshipping community can be easily overlooked in our busy lives. Matthew presents Jesus tethered to the Father via his recollection of familiar scripture while in extremis; that lifeline sustained through a lifetime of connection.
~ Karan Hudson

Day 5 – Monday, 2 March

“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

~ read Genesis 12:1-4

Reflection by a member of the community

‘I will make of you a great nation’ – in the age of President Trump those words ring strange. Is the hope embedded in God’s promises to Abram reflected in what Trump promises America? God calls Abram to untether from the past, to build a new society, and promises land for the landless, life in barrenness, blessing to all. The difference is?

 ~ Neryl McCallum

Day 6 – Tuesday, 3 March

“I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing”

~ read Genesis 12:1-4

Reflection by a member of the community

God calls us out of what we know so that we have to pay attention: to the divine calling, to love. My new puppy pays more attention to me when he’s on his leash. Rather than that tethering being limiting, it builds the bond of love between us and allows him to explore new places. So, too, our tethering to God gives us the freedom to go to new places in Christ’s love.

~ Lesa Scholl

Day 7 – Wednesday, 4 March

“The Lord is your keeper…he will keep your life.”

~ read Psalm 121

Reflection by a member of the community

This psalm expresses our awareness of the Divine. Our knowing unfolds as the universe evolves. 

Scientific updates encourage re-vision from ‘God’ to ‘Mind of God’ (an alias for ‘Consciousness’)— ‘the ground of all being’.

‘God’ is with us — by faith. Our minds are nested in the universal ‘Mind of God’—by nature.

True knowing comes by intentional choice for my mind to resonate with its universal host. 

~ David Kranz

Day 8 – Thursday, 5 March

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?”

~ read Psalm 121

Reflection by a member of the community

I am in the depth of desperation, feeling alone and lost. Nowhere to look but up. God meets me in my pain. Day and night, sunrise to sunset and all in between, my suffering is not in isolation. I am loved. God sees my pain, embraces my pain and embraces me ….. and my pain. Life-giving, never-ending, hope.

~ Jan Oliver

Day 9 – Friday, 6 March

“Jesus said, ‘Do not be astonished that I said to you, you must be born from above.’”

~ read John 3:1-17

Reflection by a member of the community

To be born from above is to be tethered to Love and to live in the Spirit. It is astonishing that we are invited into this great mystery. This connection and relationship which both sustains us and blows us about. Like a kite in the wind, we are grounded and guided, yet also free to follow the Spirit.

~ John Hughes

Day 10 – Saturday, 7 March

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”

~ read John 3:1-17

Reflection by a member of the community

CS Lewis compares theology and doctrine to a map. The experience of a beach is much more moving and intimate, but if you want to cross the ocean, you need the map, a collection of many peoples’ experiences. Nicodemus gets a bad rap. Nicodemus had a very intimate encounter with God, but in the dark he couldn’t see the bigger picture. What a privilege it is to have the witness of thousands, millions who have experienced God, to guide us in our own encounter with the Eternal and Everlasting.

~ Kai Strobel

Day 11 – Monday, 9 March

“Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.”

~ read Exodus 17:1-7

Reflection by a member of the community

When the people are angry, are anxious, are lost, what does God do? God is present, God is responsive, God is surprising.

When we are angry, are anxious, are lost…
God brings life out of something that seems lifeless.
It is surprising.

 ~ Georgia Elsegood

Day 12 – Tuesday, 10 March

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people…’”

~ read Exodus 17:1-7

Reflection by a member of the community

How often have we challenged with vitriol those who have been chosen to lead us? Hidden within the anonymity of the online world and the luxury of not needing to provide an alternative, how often have we opted for denigration and derision rather than respectful debate? 

This Lenten season, let us like Moses strike water from the rock, find love when we feel anger, and show grace when we feel fear.

~ Peter Subramaniam

Day 13 – Wednesday, 11 March

“He is our God, we are the people he cares for, the flock for which he provides.”

~ read Psalm 95

Reflection by a member of the community

We believe this to be the very essence of God’s care for us. This is our tether to God. Although at times, this tether is so stretched, we feel we dangle loosely at the end.

Forty five years ago, John and I experienced a tragedy, when our third child died, only four days old. I felt that this tether to God was slipping from my grasp until I realized that by grace, God was holding me tightly.

~ Janette Minchin

Day 14 – Thursday, 12 March

O come, let us worship.

~ read Psalm 95

Reflection by a member of the community

Psalm 95 is our 121 with God: 

C aring for others is Love.

O ffering our gifts is Love.

R espect for others is Love.

D epend on God to shape us is Love.

S ing our song of Love.

The Lord binds us with cords that cannot be broken. Amen

~ June Heng

Day 15 – Friday, 13 March

“The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

~ read John 4:5-42

Reflection by a member of the community

Sometimes this cord of love

is a weaving of words:

         mutually         empowering

                           challenging,

                           transforming…

Yet could it also be

life-giving water, flowing soul to soul:

                           refreshing,

                           nourishing,

                           liberating…

in this brief encounter?

Encounters flowing, echoing and offering through time,

human and divine life-giving

                           words,

                           water,

                           or even blood?

How will you entwine 

threads,

                           words,

                           tears,

                           laughter…

to this mysterious bond of love?

~ Gillies Ambler

Day 16 – Saturday, 14 March

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.”

~ read John 4:5-42

Reflection by a member of the community

Jesus treats the woman with regard and respect ~ helping her see her own life clearer and to unfold who he is. The encounter, their honest communication reveals the spirit and truth in them both.

Jesus embodies ~ faith and love  ~  belief and openness. 

We seek this deepening of our connection with our often contradictory self and with the steadfast LOVE of our GOD. 

~ Neale Starkey

Day 17 – Monday, 16 March

“Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”

~ read 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Reflection by a member of the community

Samuel under God’s instruction is looking for a new King.  His criteria for a King is based on physical stature and strength until Divine guidance leads him to seek out the boy David, tending the sheep in the pastures.

The takeout of this passage is that we are inclined to look on the outward appearance of people, but God looks on the heart. God loves us for our whole being not for our outward appearance. We should view others as God views them.

~ Brian Hern

Day 18 – Tuesday, 17 March

There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.

~ read 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Reflection by a member of the community

This is one of those stories about discernment under pressure. Samuel is deeply disappointed in Saul and knows he has to put change in train. In fear of his life, he follows his spiritual intuition and it leads him to a puzzle. None of Jesse’s sons seemed right. Yet his “gut” told him he was in the right place. Sure enough, there was an unlikely lad – the shepherd boy, David – who became the beloved King of Israel. Sometimes we have to trust God to the very edge! Always staying tethered!

~ Sharonne Price

Day 19 – Wednesday, 18 March

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

~ read Psalm 23

Reflection by a member of the community

Psalm 23

the familiar words invite me

   to look back along the path

   that led me here

along the way they have

   nourished me

   challenged me

   consoled me

   made me angry

stepping stones on my journey in faith

links in the chain that connects me 

to the Divine

~ Rosie O’Reilly

Day 20 – Thursday, 19 March

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

~ read Psalm 23

Reflection by a member of the community

This Psalm speaks closely about our relationship with God.   God is with us, protecting and guiding us through life.  In times of joy and fulfilment, in times of frustration and despair. Then offering us all (even our enemies) the hope of enjoying fellowship around the banqueting table together.  Being tethered to God reassures us we are loved and guided in all aspects of our life

~ Gwenda Kerley

Day 21 – Friday, 20 March

“He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’

~ read John 9:1-41

Reflection by a member of the community

For the blind man that Jesus heals, the choice is as clear as his new sight. Continue a life of judgment and fear, immersed in self-pity, or choose life giving affirmation and a new direction with the one who created us all. It is appropriated by a simple childlike faith, by submitting to His love and yielding to His healing grace.

~ Ian Milne

Day 22 – Saturday, 21 March

“If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

~ read John 9:1-41

Reflection by a member of the community

So many times

God’s hand reaches out

When we cannot see or feel.

Not till later

In moments of faith

And quiet revelation,

Do we realise God’s love.

Yes it’s hard to hold on to love

When the world batters

At your our door.

But in the end

That community of love

Is our salvation.

~ Lee Parker

Day 23 – Monday, 23 March

“The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.”

~ read Ezekiel 37:1-14

Reflection by a member of the community

Tony:      So Phil, what have we got here on this enormous field?

Phil:        Well, Tony, it’s a big pile ‘o bones in’ it.

Tony:      I can see that Phil, but who were these people, why are they here and what can they tell us?

Phil:        Can’t tell us too much like this can they? Not ‘less they all join together, grow skin and breathe again.

Tony:      Join dead bones together? I think there might be a song about that. But what hope is there of dead bones coming to life again?

Phil:        Can’t do nothin’ without ‘ope Tony!

~ JS Hudson

Day 24 – Tuesday, 24 March

“Come from the four wins, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

~ read Ezekiel 37:1-14

Reflection by a member of the community

Just like those dry bones, we will rise again when we are tethered to God through love.

~ Rosemary Nairn

You can listen to the choir singing ‘Dem Bones’

Day 25 – Wednesday, 25 March

Put your hope in the Lord for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.

~ read Psalm 130

Reflection by a member of the community

The mountain we ascend is rocky and rough.

There is no shortage of uncertainty, fear, and isolation. 

Keeping physical distance is now an act of love. But wherever we may be, God’s love can reach us. And God’s love can help us feel more connected than ever.

As we ascend the mountain, the tethers of love and support we have for one another will help us in our travels.

~ Amos Washington

Day 26 – Thursday, 26 March

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.”

~ read Psalm 130

Reflection by a member of the community

When I am at the end of my tether, when I have nothing left to give, I reach out from the void to you, O God of hope, and find that I have been tied to you all along.  O God, draw me back into the safety of your loving arms.  Amen

~ Elizabeth Vreugdenhil

Day 27 – Friday, 27 March

“Lazarus is dead…Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

~ read John 11:1-45

Reflection by a member of the community

The story of Lazarus: what can it all mean?

Why wait two more days to move? How would it be to be raised like Lazarus, just for a little life more? How come John is the only one telling me this story, can be it be real, can it be true?

It feels uncomfortable struggling like this in a net of scepticism. Can I turn it over: questions become the tether that stops me floating unthinkingly over the familiar, letting me explore the old story anew.

~ Fran Harding

Day 28 – Saturday, 28 March

“Lazarus, come out!”

~ read John 11:1-45

Reflection by a member of the community

How do we engage with the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead? Do we suspend disbelief? Do we chide ourselves for being analytical rather than believing? How do we tether ourselves to this pivotal story in scripture?

The fact that we and our world even exist is a story almost beyond belief, so why is Lazarus’ rising so challenging? Perhaps today can be a day in which we link ourselves into Mary and Martha’s faithful bond to their Lord and friend.

~ Nigel Hall

Day 29 – Monday, 30 March

“His steadfast love endures for ever”

~ read Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

Reflection by a member of the community

Unbreakable!

Unshakeable!

Through thick and thin, God is with us!

This is our enduring faith, as we make our Lenten journey.

In the way of Jesus, the faithful, crucified and risen one, we are

tethered to our God of love.

So we, too, are drawn to love one another!

~ John Minchin

Day 30 – Tuesday, 31 March

“O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. For God’s steadfast love endures forever”

~ read Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

Reflection by a member of the community

These words open and conclude Psalm 118 – so we should pay attention.

Steadfast – unwavering, determined in purpose, fixed in intensity, loyal forever.

Such are the strands of the cord that God weaves between Godself and us. Everlasting love – securing us to the Source of all Love. Blessing indeed!

~ Barbara Horne

Day 31 – Wednesday, 1 April

“Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.”

~ read Matthew 21:1-11

Reflection by a member of the community

Just another ordinary day for the donkey and it’s colt. Resting in the sun, recuperating after transporting goods and people. Then the disciples came, untied them and brought them to Jesus.

The man who rode on it’s back was gentle and caring. Nothing was quite the same after meeting Jesus. What are you tied to in your busy life and do you allow your ropes to be untied? 

~ Dorthe Lilleris

Day 32 – Thursday, 2 April

“Just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’”

~ read Matthew 21:1-11

Reflection by a member of the community

I always think of a tether as being used to stop a calf or goat from straying or getting into trouble. When I am in trouble the “royal telephone”, the spoken or unspoken prayer, always provides an answer with comfort, reassurance, insight, hope and irrevocable, unchanging, all-embracing love – that wonderful and mysterious gift from our God.

 ~ Alan Lockyer

Day 33 – Friday, 3 April

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.”

~ read Philippians 2:5-11

Reflection by a member of the community

Nature vs. nurture: are we born the way we are, or does our environment shape us?

Paul favours nurture – even though Jesus had the nature of God, his deliberate choice of a humble servant life was what strengthened his connection to God.

Regardless of our nature, we are all tethered to God. Through love, all of us may experience this connection.

~ Rohan Hudson

Day 34 – Saturday, 4 April

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.”

~ read Philippians 2:5-11

Reflection by a member of the community

Today, our minds are bombarded by bad news on all sides, from a variety of pervasive media. We may be tempted to focus narrowly and fearfully on how these matters will affect us or instead choose the straightforward but challenging way of adopting the mind of Christ in humility, obedience and outward-looking service.

~ Gloria Parker

Day 35 – Monday, 6 April

“Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair.”

~ read John 12:1-11

Reflection by a member of the community

In this one house we find people place their hope in very different things. Mary places her hope in Jesus. Martha is tied to a more practical understanding. Judas places his hope in the treasury that Mary uses to pay for the ointment. So where would we place our hope?

~ Rob Brown

Day 36 – Tuesday, 7 April

“Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

~ read John 12:20-36

Reflection by a member of the community

We are called to serve and follow Jesus. What a challenge we are faced with to serve and follow when the current situation means we are told to stay put. Although we may lose the normality of our lifestyle, may we not lose our lives to fear. Rather, may we be open to God’s leading, to serve and follow creatively and to love recklessly.

~ Emma Dubrich

Day 37 – Wednesday, 8 April

“Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’”

~ read John 13:21-32

Reflection by a member of the community

Uncertain times.

People say things we don’t fully understand

things beyond belief

we seek clarity

answers

answers are given…

yet still no clarity,

where are the answers that will settle the restlessness inside us…

they do not come.

These are the times of unknowing,

times to live in love – with all it’s uncertainty

times to hold on and not let go.

~ Michelle Harris

Day 38 – Thursday, 9 April

“Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.”

~ read John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Reflection by a member of the community

Feet are dirty.

Feet crack and bleed.

Feet are the outcasts of the body.

Yet – feet are where we are tethered to the earth.

Feet are where we can meet each other with tender, loving care.

Feet are a place where we can choose to meet Jesus and be tethered to the universe of love.

~ Julianne Rogers

Day 39 – Friday, 10 April

“So they took Jesus…they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side.”

~ read John 18:1-19:42

Reflection by a member of the community

“Life’s mysteries remain and deepen, its answers unresolved. So you walk on through the dark because that’s where the next morning is.”

Bruce Springsteen in the trailer to “Western Stars”. 

Sometimes it is enough to know only the one next step. 

Sometimes it is enough to know only that the light will come. 

Sometimes it is enough to know only that one day there will be music and dancing and rejoicing again. 

Sometimes it is enough to know that others have been here before, and their remembering assures us that tomorrow will come.

“We walk on through the dark because that’s where the next morning is.”

~ Jennifer Hughes

Day 40 – Saturday, 11 April

“They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths…and they laid Jesus in the tomb.”

~ read John 19:38-42

Reflection by a member of the community

If ever there was a day when we feel untethered, it is today. We stand holding our end of the rope, but the far end has gone limp – dead.

The silence of this day can be deafening. The disconnect unsettling. 

Where is hope now? Where is deep connection?

Today is a day to wait. To be still. To hold on. Even when we are spiraling.

~ John Hughes