Second Week of Lent
When I contemplate Lent, I always feel a sense of heaviness and sadness. I guess it’s because I don’t like thinking about my part in what led to the events of Easter. So I was somewhat surprised as I began to study in preparation for writing this introduction. As I read the lectionary texts for this week, I was struck by the very positive, reassuring words I read there. And then I was struck again.
I was struck by the fact that God knows that I DO feel heavy and sad about Easter. God knows I feel like my very presence here contributed to the necessity of that series of events. But God knows WHY the events needed to happen.
I need Easter. I need it just like I need Christmas. I need God with flesh and bones, present in my life. I need Jesus, alive, as an example of how to live, a living tour guide of this broken world and how God breaks into it, making a difference everywhere God is present.
I needed – I NEED – Jesus on the cross. A picture of sacrifice and love and devotion to something, to someone – to ME. And I needed that empty tomb. Something so unbelievable and incredible and so beyond anything I am capable of.
I need – we all need – the promise of God’s love that is present in the tragic events of Easter and the triumphant events that follow.
The Bible is full of God’s promises to us – promises of love, forgiveness, direction, and God’s everlasting presence with those who accept and follow Jesus. While full of promises, scripture is also full of encouragement to act, in faith, on the promises God has made to us. As you read and contemplate this week’s scriptures, be reminded of God’s promises to you, fulfilled in the sorrow of Lent and the joy of Easter. Be aware, too, of how God calls us to live out our faith in those promises.
Second Sunday in Lent - February 21
All of the Earth
Prepare: Take three deep breaths. Straighten your posture. You can cup your hands toward the ceiling, as if waiting to receive something from God.
Use this sentence scripture prayer to center you: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Read: Read today’s scripture selection, Psalm 22:23-31. If time allows, read at least onedifferent translation.
Meditate: What words or phrases strike you? Read them again.
How are you feeling, in your body, when reading? What do you think this feeling means?
Pray: You can read the following prayer or write your own one-sentence prayer – your prayer to God – lifting to God what you have read and what you have listed, asking for healing, fullness, and insight.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, helping me to recognize when I need to ask for your help – and accept it. Amen.