Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, February 21, Morning

By Rev. Palmer Cantler

Ducks, Dish Soap and Discipleship

Read Ezekiel 36:25-27a (The Message)

“I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.”

God’s words to the Israelites, proclaimed through the prophet Ezekiel, seemed to be a perfect pairing with today’s item in the Lenten Countdown. Have you ever seen the Dawn commercials where they clean ducks with dish soap? I cannot help but imagine those ducks being held in a strong, but gentle grasp as they are washed clean when reading this text. New life is given in this careful cleaning, and the ducks are free from oil and impurities once again.

Lent provides the perfect time for us to slow down and listen for God’s voice. Maybe we give up a habit that is not life-giving and distracts from the Spirit’s guidance. Or maybe we take on a practice to cultivate a pattern of giving, like the Lenten Countdown. This time of preparation is counter-cultural in that it encourages us to look, not upon our own desires, but where God is leading.

I hope you will take on the practice of giving this Lent and join us in the Lenten Countdown. Over the course of Lent, you will collect 10 items needed by the mission ministries of our church: Beacon of Hope, Sharing Shop, and Soup Kitchen. Through the accompanying prayers and explanations, may this practice of giving fill you with the Spirit of God.

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