The spiritual life, especially in Lent, begins not with me, my quest, my struggles, or my belief but in the greatness of God. J. B. Phillips wrote a popular book whose title summarizes our foundational error: Your God Is Too Small. If we shrink God down to functioning like our personal assistant, an energy drink, or a Santa Claus that leaves gifts behind now and then, we will forever be just as small as our vision of God. To grow and discover the expanse of the soul God desires for us, we first must let our minds be blown by how overwhelmingly expansive, holy, wise and mighty – and yet merciful and tender – God really is. Hymns carry us a long way toward this humble, joyful realization.
—James C. Howell, Unrevealed Until Its Season: A Lenten Journey with Hymns (Upper Room Books, 2021)
When have you felt God’s tender mercies? Join the conversation.
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
—Psalm 116:1 (NIV)
Prayer for the Week
O God, we give you thanks for hymn writers of the past and present. Help us to always have a song of praise on our lips and in our hearts, especially in times of trouble. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
What is Lent? When is Lent? Why do we set it apart? Learn more about this special season by reading Lent 101.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.