We’ve passed the half-way point in our “Journey to Jerusalem.” It seems as if the time has flown-by. In two weeks, we’ll be at Palm/Passion Sunday, and then it’s on to Holy Week and Easter. I’ve enjoyed working my way through this year’s Lenten Devotional, Awakening to God’s Beauty – the photographs are exceptional, and the commentary is spot-on. I sometimes find devotional books such as this fail to hold my interest for more than a couple of weeks. In this case, though, Krin Van Tatenhove’s photography and commentary will keep me engaged for the whole of the journey. Oftentimes, we use the word “discipline” when talking about spiritual practices such as a daily devotional. I think the term puts people off – most of us associate the word “discipline” with things that are mandatory and not very life-giving. We’re required to do them or there will be adverse consequences. When talking about “spiritual disciplines,” we’re talking about practices which are spiritually beneficial and good for the soul. We need this type of discipline if we’re going to maintain a healthy relationship with God. Just like our relationship with our spouse or close friends, spiritual disciplines need to be practiced regularly if they’re going to remain fresh and life affirming. There are times during the year that I need a spiritual discipline to keep me focused on the Divine and open me to God’s work in the world. It’s easy to grow stale in your prayer life, your devotional life, and your worship life. In my case, I welcome the discipline of preaching on a weekly basis – it engages me with the Biblical texts and the overall trajectory of the Scriptures. It reminds me that God is still active in the world, and that we’re in danger of overlooking that activity if we don’t keep our eyes and ears attuned to the miracles which are happening around us every day. God never rests! So, stay engaged! Don’t get left behind on the journey! We’ll be in Jerusalem before you know it. The Upper Room, the cross, and the tomb await our arrival. For our sake, the Risen Christ overcomes the sharpness of death and the Spirit renews our hearts and minds as we celebrate the miracle of Easter. Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!