2018 SPU Lenten Devotional


Starting with Ash Wednesday and culminating in Holy Week, Christians throughout history have utilized fasting, prayer, and other spiritual practices during Lent as a means of dying to self in order to rise with Christ. 

The Campus Ministries staff at Seattle Pacific University curated this devotional as a means of helping our community grow during this Lenten season. Starting with Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018), there is an assigned passage of Scripture and a subsequent reflection written by a member of the Seattle Pacific community.

By reading Scripture together throughout these 40 days, it is our deep prayer that our students, staff, and faculty might grow in their love of God and love of neighbor.

February 18, 2018
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Yikhwan Dillard, Campus Program Coordinator, Office of Student Involvement and Leadership

A few weeks ago, I watched a film called Kung Fu Panda 3. (I know, I know). The movie was entertaining and was full of wisdom-packed one liners. One of the most memorable lines I remember was near the end, when the main character's father was exposed for lying to his son. What we know is that the lie was purely out of love. By lying, he genuinely thought he could save his son from facing the powerful villain. Nevertheless, he was met with disappointment from his son, which left him with a sense of shame and sadness. In his broken state, his friend, knowing the full story, offered these words of comfort, “Sometimes, we do the wrong things for all the right reasons.”

As true as this line is, I think the opposite is as true. Sometimes, we do the right things for all the wrong reasons. In the Scripture, we see the spiritual leaders fall into the trap of self-centeredness. Though their spiritual disciplines and pieties were presumably "right", their motives were wrong. In every season of Lent, I wonder about this paradigm. I attribute this to the age-old SPU question of, "what are you giving up for Lent?" Nothing. The point of Lent is not about giving up something nor is it about spiritual disciplines. It is about preparation. We pray, fast, confess, and repent in order to prepare for the resurrection of our Lord. Right intentions first, then the right acts. In this order, and probably with some prayer and the wisdom of our community, I believe we can do the right things for the right reasons this season.