Verse of the Day: Lent 2019

Verse of the Day: Lent 2019

By Sr. Noreen Stevens, directing deaconess

The Verse of the Day is a daily devotional shared by Deaconess Community members and candidates (womxn working towards becoming deaconesses). Directing Deaconess Sr. Noreen Stevens writes about the themes the Deaconess Community will share in their collective Lenten devotions this year. 

During these Lenten days, we are invited to walk with the Beatitudes and follow the AAMPARO invitation to accompany children today and in the future, as we dwell in our relationship with God and each other.

In Deaconess Community Candidate Kriss Buss’ reflections, we are invited to “walk with the Beatitudes as not only pious wishes for the future but as ethical demands for today. In each Beatitude, we examine who in our present reality Jesus calls our attention and our hearts toward and in what ways the unconventional, radical inclusion of the kingdom of God is promised to these. Through this journey, I pray you may see the people and places where the reign of God challenges our conventional thinking and turns us closer towards God and each other.”

And, using the Virginia Synod Tapestry Team’s reflections, we read through the scripture AMMPARO recommends, which reflects on “the stranger” and the Spanish word “amparo” – the protection of a living creature from suffering or damage.

“Dios es nuestro amparo y fortaleza” (“God is our refuge and strength”) – Psalm 46:1

AMMPARO is a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA, as a church in the world, to accompany children today and in the future. The ELCA’s strategy to Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities ( AAMPARO) was envisioned after witnessing the plight of children who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala” (AMMPARO’s website).

As we are challenged to engage the ethical demands of the Beatitudes, we are also invited to prayerfully consider the unconventional, radical inclusion of the kingdom of God.

We are invited to see the people and places where the reign of God challenges our conventional thinking and turns us closer towards God and each other.  May your Lenten journey be blessed with questions, answers and learnings which celebrate the life-furthering love of Christ’s wild peace.

Peace in these Lenten days.