Lenten Devotional – March 25, 2023

Saturday, March 25, 2023
Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time 
by Dorothy C. Bass 
Devotions by Pastor Travis Norton

Bass reminds us that we receive each day first through our bodies. We train our babies from the beginning to sleep when others sleep and to eat when others eat. Then we live by this order to our lives. She points out that one of the first signs of distress in a person is when they stop taking care of themselves, stop eating or sleeping according to their patterns. These regular rhythms are key to noticing and receiving this day with thanksgiving. She writes, “The Christian practice of receiving the day is made for people who have and are bodies…No two bodies are just the same, so each of us must listen carefully to our own in order to discern what patterns of daily life will meet these needs.” 

Bass then moves to the practice of paying attention. “Distraction’s opposite, and its antidote, is attention. Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow,” write Annie Dillard. “You catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.” Bass encourages us to place some anchors in our day when we attend to God as a way to receive the day. “For those who learn attention in this way are able to give attention also to other people and to God. They become able to be present to those who are suffering, and they become able to pray.” 

“The Christian practice of receiving the day begins with setting aside a part of each day for attention to God. This piece of time leans deliberately into the wind, grounding us to resist the forces that hurry us onto distraction. It becomes the regular setting for seeing the whole day through the lens of grace as we remember the truths about God and ourselves that inform our resistance.” She is honest about the difficulty some have with this, but presses on regardless reminding us that “resistance is possible.” 

Prayer: God, you have given me this day. Help me to notice it, to receive it, to attend to all that it is. As I give thanks for the food that sustains me and the water that cleanses me, I turn my attention to you, the one who is present in nourishing and washing, just as you feed my soul and forgive my sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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