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Courage to Live

19 February 2024

By Scott Murphy, First Presidency

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart; with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning…

Joel 2:12

[Excerpted from “What Will We Bring…?”, March/April 2023 Herald, p. 5]

The invitation to journey through Lent, which always brings us to the cross and then the gift of Easter, is a time of honest self-reflection of our life and relationship with Christ. As Walter Brueggemann suggests, “Lent is a time for thinking again about our true identity and our true desire.” At its basic level, it is a time to explore who we are and who we are called to be.

To walk this path is an act of faith and an act of courage. For without courage, we never fully enter the space where we honestly can see ourselves and then see ourselves in how God sees us.

It is this essence of faith and courage demonstrated in Jesus as he made his way into the wilderness and explored his true identity and desire. It was courage from that inner place of love for God that took him home to proclaim the mission he was committed to live for the salvation of others (Luke 4:18–19). And it was courage that made it possible for him to face the consequence of the cross to make the presence of God’s peaceable reign on Earth tangible for all to encounter.

Faith in God produces courage to live a new way.

The season of Lent is the gift of space and time to explore and see our life through the love and acts of Jesus. But while Lent invites us into self-reflection, and maybe even repentance, we ultimately discover that the journey is moving us into the future that Easter shows us.

Prayer Phrase

“For he will be like a tree planted by water…” (Jeremiah 17:8).

Spiritual Practice

Deepening Roots

A tree with superficial roots will wither during drought, or severe storms may uproot it. A tree whose roots go deep is stable and draws from deep waters. Imagine yourself as a tree by a river or stream. Sense your roots extending deep into the Earth in search of God’s Spirit. Reflect or pray about what you hope to find as your spirit searches for deeper identity in God.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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