Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.             Psalm 51:10-12 ESV

This week’s Monday School passage is part of a Psalm of David. He penned the Psalm after he was confronted by Nathan about Bathsheba.

What better words to express a broken heart over it’s own sin. It’s God who makes our hearts clean and renews a right spirit within. And it’s God who can restore to us the joy of His salvation.

This is my daily and constant prayer within the 40 plus days of Lent. I know only a little more about Lent than I did last year. My Lenten journey was a sweet time of reflection and re-centering and so I began again on Ash Wednesday, which was the same day as Valentine’s Day this year.

The purpose of my observation of Lent is to slow down, seek, reflect, and prepare. I’m committed to leave plenty of open spaces on my calendar so I can slow down and move at soul-speed but I will also reduce my smart phone and laptop use. Unintentionally, I’ve started to believe I’m more important than I am. Missed calls, unread emails, and notifications from my blog or social media accounts scream for my attention. Shazam praises me for the great song find, Runkeeper reminds me it’s time for another run, and Netflix picks shows just for me. First, the dings, buzzes, and red bubble notifications never feel like soul-speed. Second, I’ve become the center of my world and that’s not where I belong.

So on this Lenten journey I ask God to take me back to the beginning.

God take us back, the place we began 
The simple pursuit of nothing but you 
The innocence of a heart in your hands 
God take us back, oh God, take us back

     Simple Pursuit by Passion

I will pause Monday School for a while and instead write about my journey back. I’m reading in Mark during this time if you want to join me.

And Mark’s first words are these:  “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”   Mark 1:1

Mark has some good news for us.


photo by Joanna Schley