Weekly Lent Devotional: Week 6

Psalm 131
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.

How do you experience the season of Lent? For me, Lent is when I seek to dwell more closely with God. That takes different forms each year. Most years it includes a Saturday Lenten retreat away from the busy-ness of my ordinary life. This year I am also praying with the Psalms. In the Psalms of Ascent, psalms traditionally sung by worshipers on their way to Jerusalem, we find Psalm 131, a “Psalm of Quiet Trust.” I can imagine Jesus praying Psalm 131 as he ascended the road to Jerusalem with his disciples.

Psalm 131 offers this image of quiet trust: a weaned child with its mother. I am both a mother and grandmother, so I know first-hand that nursing infants are demanding. A newborn can nurse every two hours- even overnight. But when the young child is finally weaned, the bids for connection are less about food and more about presence. The child seeks to be held, comforted, reassured – or just to be with its mother.

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.” Psalm 131:2

Lent is a time be with God.

One Sunday as worship was ending, I stood at the church door. The congregation was doing what it did best - caring for one another. Circles had formed around the people who had shared prayer requests, or with those for whom the passing of the peace just wasn’t sufficient to share updates on their lives. No one was checking their phones, disinterested, or in a hurry. Even visitors were noticed and included. The congregation was nurturing and growing their caring relationships by choosing to be with one another.

• This week, take a few minutes to just sit with God in prayer – no agenda, no demands – just to sit and be with God. Perhaps you could share a psalm together.

• And on Sunday, I invite you to notice your congregation. Where do you see circles of caring relationships? How might you “be with” others in your community? How might you encourage others to do the same

Rev. Amy Delaney
Acting Executive Presbyter
Northwest Coast Presbytery

Mark Delaney's Siege Stew

• 1-2 lbs of stewing beef, roast beef, or chicken breast
• 1 lbs bacon
• 4 carrots,
• 4 stalks of celery
• 1 onion
• 10 mushrooms (Cremini, Baby Bella, or White)
• 1-3 leeks (or 1-3 Zucchini or 6-8 cubed potatoes with skin on)
• 2/3 cup lentils (green or brown preferred)
• 2/3 cup barley
• 1 cup red wine (optional)
• 48oz Low Sodium Chicken Broth
• 1tbs Balsamic vinegar
• Sage, thyme, black pepper, celery salt, basil, garlic (to taste)

Begin chopping at 1 pm. Dine at 6:30 – 7:00 pm. Optional, cook bacon for Sunday breakfast, being sure to reserve and refrigerate drippings.

1. Cook bacon and reserve drippings.
2. Cube and brown the meat in bacon fat. Add balsamic vinegar.
3. Add broth to slow cooker.
4. Add the browned meat. Chop onion in half and add to slow cooker. Sprinkle any dry herbs.
5. Wash and chop all the vegetables. Sauté vegetables in the bacon fat and meat drippings until soft. Add optional red wine to vegetables while sauteing.
6. Mince garlic and finely chop fresh herbs. Add to garlic, herbs, and vegetables to slow cooker.
7. Add barley and lentils using water as directed on package.
8. Cook on low for 4 hours.
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