Morning Prayer: 2nd Sunday in Lent

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Psalms: 24, 29
Old Testament: Jeremiah 1:1-10
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 3:11-23

With it being so late in the afternoon…..I seriously considered skipping an MP post and just combining it with the evening portion. However, there is a lot going on in today’s Scripture passages, and I do want to take some time to concentrate on the section of Jeremiah we read for the Office today:

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.’ 7But the Lord said to me,
‘Do not say, “I am only a boy”;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.’
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,
‘Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.’ (Jeremiah 1:4-10)

Jeremiah’s call to be a prophet is so pertinent to our society today. Sadly, it has been co-opted by many pro-life groups as the rallying cry against abortion, rather than standing on its own as a recognition that God has a plan for each and every one of us.

As I look at the paragraph above, I am also chuckling at my own words lol :). I don’t consider myself pro-life, nor am I believer in Fate, or predestined plans lol :). Yet I do believe that life is sacred and that God directs our lives in a certain direction while at the same time, giving us the freedom to veer off in another directions.

Like all of the Biblical heralds of God’s message, Jeremiah proclaims that he is unfit to speak on behalf of the Father; a fair argument, non? After all, can a mortal really speak for the Maker of heaven and earth?

Yet God does not accept Jeremiah’s protest….instead he says that he should not call himself a boy….and that YHWH will provide the very words and thoughts that are needed to speak to the congregation of Israel. Simply put, God’s call cannot be put off with excuses 🙂

Of course, taking up the prophetic mantle is definitely a dangerous thing in our world. For one, we can’t always be sure that the call is authentic….there are no cherubs flying above our heads, no burning coals touching our lips…and yet we are called to speak the truth about the kingdom:

do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time (Matt 10:19b)

We are baptized into Christ’s threefold ministry of priest, prophet, and king. We are not to speak our own words or our own thoughts…but rather to reflect on what God might be saying to us in the silence of our hearts. Through prayer, reflection, and conversation with other members of the faith….we might be able to discern the new and exciting ways in which the Father is directing the church to go out and make disciples of all nations.

What I [Jesus] say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops (Matt 10:27)


Evening Prayer: March 11th (Combo post)

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Psalms: 31, 35
Old Testament: Deut 7:12-16
New Testament: Titus 1* (supposed to be Titus 2, but I switched them yesterday by accident)
Gospel: John 1:35-42
Patristic Reading:An excerpt from a sermon of Pseudo-Chrysostom

They asked [Jesus] “Rabbi (which means ‘Teacher’) where are you staying?” He said to them: “Come and see” (John 1:38-39)

Throughout Lent, the Daily Office lections are leading us through the Gospel of John. The fourth Gospel takes a completely different approach to Jesus’ ministry. Whereas the synoptic tradition tends to hide and tease us with Jesus’ identity, John is very straightforward.

From the very first sentence, the reader is made aware that Christ is the eternal Word. The point for John is not to discover who Jesus is, but rather to bear witness to Jesus’ true nature as the Son of God…and to experience his presence for ourselves.

Thus, when John writes about the call of the first disciples…..the emphasis is not being on fishers of men……but on a simple invitation to come and see.

The Dean of Huron College once said that it would be a worthwhile exercise to read John as an exposition and power of the spoken Word of Christ, and I think that it might be one of the themes I pick up for this Lenten season.

Just as we were invited on Wednesday to remember that we are dust, the LORD is inviting us here to break open the Word, to follow him and to see whether what John the Baptist claims is true…..Can this really be the Messiah? The Lamb who takes away the sins of the world??? I hope in the next 40 days to explore these questions with you…..and if you are up for it….we might just be able to figure out where Jesus is staying in the here and now. 🙂 +

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