Living the Lectionary – 3rd week of Lent

Living the Lectionary is a weekly devotional tool intended to give you ideas for living out the Word of God that we encounter on Sundays in worship. 

ABOUT THE WEEK STARTING FEBRUARY 28th: THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT

God’s call to repent is both good news and bad, but still it is mostly good. Law: It is clear that we haven’t lived up to what God has created us to be and that we have supplanted His order for our own.  Gospel: God is merciful and gives us second chance after second chance, giving us the opportunity to be repentant.  3rd week in Lent

REFLECTING ON THE READINGS

(readings are linked to text on ESVbible.com – you can read all the readings together here.)

Ezekiel 33:7-20– Is it fair? – Often, like Israel, we complain that God’s way is not fair for whatever reason. Perhaps we believe that God is too gracious in saving those whom we believe sin too much, or perhaps we believe that God is not lenient enough with sins. Or perhaps your complaints with God’s fairness is around the way that the world is orchestrated. What questions do you have of God’s fairness? What might your questions tell you about yourself and about Him?

Psalm 85– Will you be angry with us forever? – Sometimes it feels as if we are so out of God’s favor, that His anger burns so hotly against us, that He is inaccessible to us. We say “Will you be angry with us forever?” and fear that the answer is “yes”. But God promises that His salvation is there for us. When have you felt like you have been out of God’s grace? How did God come to you in that moment with restoration? How might He be showing you restoration today?

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 – Putting Christ to the test – Paul writes his first letter to the Corinthians mostly to reprove them for their aberrant ways – especially around issues of sexuality. Here it is clear that Paul is telling the Corinthians to not press their luck with Christ – not because He will not forgive – but because giving in to evil desires changes the perspective of a person’s heart, creating an idol. Where are you, perhaps, putting Christ to the test and putting an idol in the place where God should be?

Luke 13:1-9– Fruit and Evil – Christians often use the inside language of “bearing fruit”, meaning the outward actions of a redeemed heart. It is the “ends” to the “means” of God’s redemption of mankind. Here Jesus corrects and clarifies the external evidences of evil – first explaining that there are areas in which people are truly victims (the murdered Galileans and those killed by the tower of Siloam) as well as areas in which God’s judgment is warranted (the fig tree). In the case where God’s judgment is warranted, humanity gets a second try. How are you using your second chance?

ABOUT THIS SEASON: LENT

The season of Lent is one of preparation for Easter. Seasons of preparation in the Christian tradition are always about preparing for a celebration – this time for the greatest feast of the Church, Easter. Lent is traditionally a 40 day fast, but spans about 46 days, using Sundays as “little Easters” away from the fast. 

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