A Lenten Social Devotional for 2021

The pandemic has greatly constrained our daily and weekly contacts with other people, so this devotional pattern is intended to respond to that reality and strengthen our connections.

Step One: Choose a Partner or Partners

They can be immediate family living with you, or family that are some distance away, or friends that you are accustomed to speaking to frequently, or friends that you want to reconnect with. The only real requirement is that they are willing to engage with you to deepen your relationship and to open up their spirits.

Step Two: Decide How Often You Will Talk Story

For people living in the same household, daily talks may be practical while the same might not be the case for devotional partners living at a distance. Set a schedule together of when (20 minutes on an evening, for example), how often (once a day? Three times a week? Once a week?), and how (phone? Video conference?) you will spend the time together.

Step Three: Reflect Together

It’s useful to have a structure for devotional conversations, so we offer this streamlined version of a traditional examen – an outline for personal prayer and for group reflection that is at least 400 years old. These steps can be applied to your personal experience or they can be applied to a Scripture that you consider together.

Share the Struggle

Take a look at the time since you last spoke (a day or a week or whatever), or take a look at the Scripture you are reading. What has been a challenge for you? What in the Biblical text makes you think hard, or even feel uncomfortable?

Share that with one another. Hold one another in silence.


Again, take a look at the time since you last spoke, or take a look at the Scripture. What has given you joy? What has filled your spirit? What are you grateful to read in the Bible account?

Share that with one another. Hold one another in silence.

Identify God

Where have you seen God at work in this time? Where do you see God moving in this Scripture? How is that different from other ways you have experience God before?

Share that with one another. Hold one another in silence.

Look Ahead

What do you hope for in the time before you speak with one another again?

Share that with one another. Hold one another in silence.

Share the Lord’s Prayer

Finding Scriptures

If you decide that you would like to make Scripture the basis for your conversations, there are several options for selecting them.

  1. Choose a book of the Bible and read through it (understanding that you may not get all the way through a book by the end of Lent);
  2. Follow a Daily Devotional. The United Church of Christ has one, and many are familiar with The Upper Room out of the Methodist tradition;
    1. UCC Daily Devotional: https://www.ucc.org/daily-devotional/
    1. The Upper Room: https://www.upperroom.org/devotionals
  3. Use the Revised Common Lectionary Daily readings; there are three for most weekdays, so you will probably want to base your conversations on one of them;
    1. https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=B
  4. Create a list of your own, perhaps your favorite Scripture passages?

Categories Community, Lent, Service | Tags: , | Posted on February 11, 2021

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