Joel Arnold

March 31, 2021

Lenten Devotions


But their minds were hardened.  For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.

2 Corinthians 3:14

For the first time in many years, I did not prepare myself for Lent.  When the call for devotions went out, I felt myself unprepared and felt that the theme was not leading me to the usual inspiration I had felt in the past.  I wondered what I could say, and never answered the call.  Then I was asked again, in a different fashion, and I realized that this was God calling to me to look at why I was resisting.

I realize that my hesitancy was because my own self-reflection on the three words of our theme, POWER.  PRIVILEGE. PRESENCE., had come to a standstill.  After lifting the veil a little, I had let it fall over me again.

Over the past couple weeks, I heard multiple messages directed to me about not hiding my character and trusting in God to show me the way.  I realized that I had slowly been withdrawing from connection and returning to my old ways that led me down the road to being a child that caused my parents much grief, a self-centered husband, and a bad friend.  I know I have to continue the work I previously did, to purposely regrow those connections, and to continue my self-reflection.

Even though I feel unworthy now, I know, in the spirit of the Easter message, that there is hope for my salvation and transformation.  And so I pray…

God, continually renew my spirit so that I do not let the veil fall over me.  Help me to not rest on my laurels so that my mind hardens.  Remove from me the bondage of myself so that I may grow in your will and walk the path you have set before me. Amen.

- Joel Arnold ’97
Assistant Director of Data and Gift Processing

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)