Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?

Call to Prayer

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)

Prayer of Confession

Creator God, I praise you for creating humanity good, in your own image. Despite the regularity of evil wickedness I see in the world, despite my own twisted ways, this is not the way it is supposed to be. I’m meant to know you, to love you with all my heart, and to live with you in eternal happiness. Today, equip me to move in the direction of your created purposes for me. In Christ’s name, amen. (Prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, Questions 6)

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

Lent Devo: Backyard Pilgrim

Throughout Lent this year we will follow along over the next 40 days with quotes from Backyard Pilgrim by Matt Canlis which gives us a daily Bible Path (the story of God’s redemption) and Parish Path (a literal path through town where you can walk and ponder what God has shown you through his Word)

Day 6: Playground
 | Read: Genesis 2:2-3

if the first readers of Genesis were surprised to learn that God wanted children, not slaves, they were doubly shocked to see God taking time off work to play with them.

The first six days of creation have every ingredient for helping us believe God is the kind of Father we may have never had, one who loves us more than our troubled hearts can imagine. God says, “Here I AM…present in your darkness, turning troubled waters into a womb, sparing no expense stocking the nursery, kissing you alive [God, quite literally, goes face to face to fill humanity’s lungs], delighting in your birth day, and stopping everything so we can play!”

Is this not a person we want for a parent/ Is this not a God we would be thrilled to call Father?

The Hebrew word for “rest” doesn’t simply mean taking a nap. It points to a new way of being in the world—being in deep, joyful, restorative relations with God, our neighbors, and ourselves in Christ. The book of Hebrews tells us to “Make every effort to enter that rest” (4:11).

What rest? The rest of being God’s child, that eternal second childhood of being born again in Christ. To every orphan, to every slave, to every prodigal, and to every lost first born, God is saying, “Here I AM! Let me be your adoptive parent. Let’s stop everything, so we can play!” Here I AM…at play.


If you have a park on your pilgrimage path, spend time there. If not, try skipping a stone, or turning a bit of sidewalk debris into a makeshift soccer ball, or if you’re with your kids (or even not) inventing a silly walk (here’s some inspiration for that last one). Did you have a favorite day last week, or even over the weekend? What was the most striking image? Have you ever imagined God as a relaxed, playful Father?

Sermon Devo

We are in our Winter series through the book of James. Each day we will dig into a different aspect of this New Testament wisdom book which will, by the end of the week, help to give you a fuller portrait of the kind of lives we are called to live as Christians.  

Read: James 1:1-3:12

Last week we saw what God has to say about our faith moving into action. This week we’ll see how James directs us to use our words faithfully. 

But before we explore the depths of this short section of James, let’s take some time to start the week by asking…

  1. What stood out to you as you read today?
  1. What point does James seem to be making?
  1. How does this portion of Scripture connect to what came before? How does it connect to what comes after?
  1. What didn’t make sense? What do you still wonder about?

Evening Prayer of Examen

  • Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
  • Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
  • Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.


“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)