Lenten Devotional 2021

A gracious thank you goes out to the 40 members of the Lutheran Campus Ministry who answered the call to contribute to this devotional. We could not have done this without you!

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Friends of Lutheran Campus Ministry:

Back when I was in college, I helped out on a Lenten devotional with this same theme: the many metaphors and names for God. I was astounded by just the sheer number of ways of understanding God there were and how many went unused by the church at large. However, as evidenced in this devotional, unused does not mean unappreciated. No, all of these names for God are special and sacred, and I will bet that, like our writers, many of these hold special significance for you too.

Perhaps the greatest gift of all these names is that they show the different ways we understand God. Whether from some of the popular ways like “Shepherd,” or from some of the uncommon ones like “Smeller,” these metaphors open our hearts and minds to the many ways that God interacts with us. And in Lent, a time for self-reflection, we wanted to lift up these metaphors and names as an offering for broadening your understanding of God. To give shape to your image of God, and to offer some insights as to how God is at work in our world and in our lives through these different means. It is a chance to consider what God means to you, and perhaps to find either new vocabulary for it, or affirmation in an old favorite.

So, enjoy these devotions. Each one contains a word, a metaphor or name, followed by a verse and a reflection from a member from our community, whether a current student, faculty, alumnus, board member, partner congregation leader, or friend of the ministry.  I encourage you all to ponder, pray, and take to heart these metaphors. Some may be odd, some may be inspirational, and you may find one that makes more sense than you ever thought it would. 

Thank you for being a part of our ministry, and blessings upon you in your Lenten journey.

Vicar Leif Kratzke Nelson 
Intern 2020-2021, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Madison

 

If you would like a copy of the devotional booklet sent to you, please email info@lcmmadison.org and specify if you need regular or large print and if you would like it emailed or mailed.  

Whirlwind

Whirlwind

Photo: Amy Grunewald-Mattison Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: -Job 38:1  That colon is like a river dam, holding back God’s answer to Job that despite the horrors that have happened to him, despite his willingness to give up everything to show he is...

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Vine

Vine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laym93F-0Uk Photo: The Guardian The disciples and Jesus in John 15 are on the move. They have left the upper room and are walking through Jerusalem eastward to a little garden called Gethsemane. Jesus looks at his disciples who, like...

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Water

Water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTbidT3bTqw Water has been present since the beginning. We read in Genesis that in the beginning, the spirit of God hovered over water. God separates this water between the seas and sky and between sea and land. Throughout scripture...

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Pillar of Fire

Pillar of Fire

The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. -Exodus 13:21 Here, in Exodus 13:21, we stand before the wild and untamed...

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Father

Father

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7ITjWv8FlI&pbjreload=101 Due to its frequent use, the image of God as Father risks reducing our understanding of the divine. It can crowd out maternal images and limit the pronouns we use for God, for instance. Depending on our...

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Mother

Mother

God walks in the door after midnight, after working a PM shift at the hospital, and I don’t greet her. I don’t even let her put her bags down or take her coat off before I say, “Ok, I did something really stupid.” Without batting an eyelash God replies, “It’s ok....

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