Lent Devotions 2018: “A LISTENING WAY”

An Invitation from the Chaplain to Join in the Lenten Devotions

Dear Friends in Christ,

Grace and peace to you, as we prepare to enter the season of Lent.  As you may know, each year for Advent and Lent, SFTS gathers a community of writers to engage Scripture and write daily devotions around a shared theme for the season.  I wanted to write and welcome you to this year’s Lenten series, and to introduce our theme.

In our Lenten devotions this year, we will set out together on “A Listening Way.”  We’ve come to this Lenten theme with at least two meanings in mind:

In one sense, we will be thinking of Lent as “a listening way” – as a listening journey.  During Lent, we travel with Jesus (and with each other) toward Holy Week and toward the cross (and beyond the cross, toward Resurrection) – listening.  Listening to Jesus (and Creator and Spirit); listening to Scripture; listening to our lives, and to our imagination, and to the world around us, and to the still, small voice within…listening.

And, in another sense, we also want to explore together specific ways of listening – practices – practices of prayer and service and community that we can live out and embody… along the way.  At the heart of our understanding of spirituality at SFTS is the commitment that our praying is always connected to living, and serving, and sharing in God’s liberating and loving work in the world.

Thank you for joining us as we set out on this listening way – as we embark on the Lenten way of Jesus, listening and living and growing in love as we go.

May you experience blessings along the way –

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Scott Clark
Chaplain and Associate Dean of Student Life
San Francisco Theological Seminary

Please enjoy the daily devotions below, or click here to subscribe to a daily devotion in your inbox.

April 2: Transforming into the Image of Christ

In this season of Easter, we are being transformed into the image of the Risen Christ.

April 1: Listening Ourselves into New Life

In our Lenten and Easter listening, what have we heard that has yet to sink in? What good news do we need to repeat until it becomes new life in us?

March 31: Listen to the Quiet

Listen to the quiet in between and all around and just before.

March 30: Who We Hear and Who We Don’t

“In every story we choose to listen to some people and not to others.”

March 29: Living into the “Uns”

In Gethsemane, Jesus lives into the “uns” – the uncertainty, the unseen, the unresolved.

March 28: Meet Mike

“There’s no better way of remembering than feeding each other.”

March 27: Listen to Her

Whatever the woman who anointed Jesus has done, she has woken up the critics in the room.

March 26: Dear Listener

Just as John Coltrane called out to the Dear Listener in “A Love Supreme,” Jesus calls out to us to listen and to watch and to be vigilant.

March 25: Palm Sunday: The Colt Returns

On Palm Sunday, listening to the colt.

March 24: Self-Compassion in Times of Distress

Listening to suffering – our own and others’ – and praying with compassion.

March 23: "Let it Be"

When we can’t bring ourselves to sing, listening for hope in the songs of others.

March 22: “My Ears Must Be Broken!”

Trying so hard to hear a word, and then listening in the laughter.

March 21: Look for the Helpers

Look for the helpers, and be prepared to help.

March 20: Who's Listening to Whom?

The Syrophoenician woman speaks. And Jesus listens.

March 19: Let Go of the Railing!

Hearing and doing the Word of God means that we may need to let go of the railing and leap into deep water – trusting.

March 18: The Way of Love

Jesus knew that the only way to show God’s love for the world was to expose the utter foolishness of violence.

March 17: Listening to the Lives of Marin Families

Listening to families in search of ways to help young people – and all of us – find ways of healthy, whole living.

March 16: Is God Really Listening to Us?

Sometimes we wonder if anyone is listening – even God.

March 15: Conversation at the Well

Perhaps Lent is an invitation to unveil ourselves for a while, to come out into the squares of community life and testify and listen.

March 14: Look, Listen

The chance to claim our stories is a path to healing, even when no cure is possible.

March 13: Listening to What's Not Spoken

Jesus listens for what’s not being spoken, and sees those whom the world too often passes by.

March 12: The Sounds of Silence

Listening not only to the music – but also to the silences between the notes.

March 11: A Listening Way for God's Love

Listening again to a familiar text for its timeless message of God’s love for the whole world.

March 10: An Acceptable Time

Impatient for change. Praying for it to come. Surprised when it comes in the form of a dog.

March 9: Am I willing to be the cause?

Crying out for Justice until, listening, every porchlight comes on.

March 8: Unexpected Riddles

Thinking of parables as riddles that keep us guessing at the meaning, and working together.

March 7: Wisdom’s Challenge

Why does Wisdom keep calling out so loudly? Will you listen?

March 6: Dancing with God

Dancing with God, as a way to voice our joy, our confusion, and the groaning of our spirit, too deep for words.

March 5: Holy Listening

Praying with a broken heart, and finding the healing power of Holy Listening.

March 4: Listening in the Midst of Anger

Learning to listen in the midst of anger, around us and in us.