Living the Lectionary – 4th 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 MARCH 6: THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

God reconciles a wayward world to Himself. Law: We are sinful human beings. This is evidenced in clear sins, like outright commandment breaking, and more subtle sins like self-righteousness.  Gospel: God reconciles all of our sins through sending Jesus, not just those that we are concerned with.  pablo (25)

REFLECTING ON THE READINGS

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

Isaiah 12– Clear Anger, Clear Forgiveness – In this section of Isaiah’s prophecy, it is clear that God is angry with the sins, even angry with the people, of Israel. There is no sense of the hackneyed Christian phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner” here: “you were angry with me,” says it all. But God’s anger does not preclude His forgiveness. In fact, God’s forgiveness is the only solution to His anger. He has to change His mind about us. Where is God angry with you? How might that show the richness of His forgiveness?

Psalm 32– Sage Advice – This Psalm is in three stanzas. The first and the last are sage advice from a wise person, and the middle (beginning “therefore let everyone who is godly . .”) is a prayer to God in the midst of the advice that reflects the very advice being given. This kind of integrity is a part of the wisdom of Christianity, that we live our lives and pray our prayers in harmony. Where might you find harmony between your life and your prayers this week?

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 – Reconciling the World– God made Christ to be sin when He was not sinful, and He made us to be righteous when we were unrighteous. We are reconciling a sinful world to God, and when it is reconciled we are to regard people of this world according to their redeemed nature, their reestablishment into Eden if you will. Who might you challenge yourself to see as a Baptized child of God this week?

Luke 15:11-32– The Prodigal God – The word “prodigal” actually means “expansive” or “liberal” in terms of spending. The truly prodigal person in this story is not either of the sons, but the father whose expansive love spends all for his sons. As this is a parable about God’s love for us, where do you see God’s prodigious love for you in your life?

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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