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Almighty God, through the incarnate Word you have caused us to be born anew of an imperishable and eternal seed: Look with compassion upon those who are being prepared for Holy Baptism, and grant that they may be built as living stones into a spiritual temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look at the image of this simple stone chapel. Where is your eye drawn at first?  Now look more closely.  What do you notice? Light and shadow? The wooden pews? Altar? The stonework? As you enter this space visually, what do you feel or think?

Reflect.  The Collect reminds us that we are spiritual temples, built of “living stones.”  Consider what this means for you. Think about your spiritual foundation, the stones used in your “construction” that enable you to be a temple in which the Holy Spirit lives and through whom the Holy Spirit acts. Imagine how your baptism prepared you to be such a temple.

Act. As we approach the Great Vigil of Easter, less than two weeks away, we note that this is a traditional time for Baptism or Confirmation for those who are committing to follow the Way of the Jesus Movement.  Remember them in prayer today, and pray for all who are drawn to other faith traditions that they, too, share in the work of reconciliation and reconstruction of a broken world.

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Stone Chapel ”   /Place: Provence, France  /Photographer: Jon Shematek