United Church of Christ

Devotionals by Marilyn Pagán-Banks

My emotions have been all over the place these days. I’m happy one minute, frustrated and short-tempered the next. Fear and hope seem to take turns leading my emotions.


Perhaps like me, you too need an image reminding us that our waiting on God is not in vain – even as the entire world watches and waits for the end of daily terrors.


This crisis is reminding me that I have to work just as hard to protect myself, from the inside out, so as not to cause harm. Perhaps I am not the only one.


During this Lenten season, I commit to inserting joy and laughter into my daily fight for justice and peace. I commit to saying ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry.’


Lent is about both emptying ourselves and offering ourselves as empty vessels. Lent is an opportunity to God to fill up our longing for love, justice, and shalom.


Dear God, as we prepare to enter Lent, remind us that bearing the sign of the cross on our forehead is not enough. Guide us toward true acknowledgment and sincere amends.


The police found a way to make my daughter pay for attempting to have agency and use her voice. But God does not require us to remain silent in the face of injustice.


Maybe I’m not the only one who needs a song to take me to a time and place filled with promise, to remind me of the things I have already won when the world gets to be too much.


Hurting people need to know that lament is not the absence of faith. Folx need to know that it is okay to cry out in pain when God’s promised protection is not evident.


Maybe we don’t all feel called to civil disobedience. But as Christians, we are all called to holy disobedience to disrupt harm, both in the streets and in our churches.