Evening Prayer: Shrove Tuesday (March 8th)

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Psalms: 36, 39
Gospel: John 1:18-29
Patristic Reading: N/A

For I am but a sojourner with you;
a wayfarer just as my forbears were (Psalm 39:12b)

Since the early days of the Church, the season of Lent has been paralleled with the Israelites 40 years in the desert. As a result of the sin of idolatry with the Golden Calf (along with some other major offences) God declares that the 12 tribes must take the long way around, and wait for the entire corrupt generation to die off.

In this 40 year period, the emerging Jewish people are beset by temptations, infighting, jealousy, abuses of power…every trial under the sun.

Likewise in Lent, we read about how Jesus was tempted by the devil before starting his public ministry….of his internal struggle and frustration of trying to explain to the disciples that yes….he must actually die in order for God’s plan to of salvation is carried out. He even faces outright rebellion from his own disciples…..so intense that he must declare “Get behind me Satan!”

In these 40 days and 40 nights…..we too will be stretched. We will read difficult passages, and contemplate difficult teachings. We too will be tempted to cave on our fast. To go back to our old ways because it is comfortable and convenient. We may even be tempted to walk away from God completely :(.

Whatever the case may be…..we are called to make the journey….to see where the road leads…….and what awaits us at the end. May we have the courage not to look backwards; walk forward with confidence, curiosity, and hope.

I will set my eyes on your hill
Jerusalem, my destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me
I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way,
this journey is my destiny!
Let no one walk alone,
the journey makes us one.+

Morning Prayer: 4th Sunday of Epiphany

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Psalms: 24, 29
Old Testament: Isaiah 51:9-16
New Testament: Hebrews 11:8-16

ll of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland……they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11: 13-14, 16a)

As I was reading the selection from Hebrews this morning, I found myself wondering what it means to walk by faith. Unlike the patriarchs…..we have seen the promise of Christ and know it to be true. 🙂

That being said, I think there are times when we too have to journey into the unknown…….when we have to make hard decisions about how to live our life.

Based on my own experience, there are definitely times when the modern world makes it hard to live a life of faith. Christianity has long since lost its privileged place in society. What was taken as a given in the past now often requires a defence, a rationale as to why I–as a person who is part of an organized religion–choose to associate myself with such a corrupt institution.

I suspect Abraham might have experienced a similar feeling when he uprooted and left his home in Ur; clinging to a hope and a prayer, proclaiming One God in the midst of a polytheistic culture.

We–like Abraham–are called to go where the Spirit leads us, even when we don’t know where the final destination will be….or what challenges we might face along the way.

The good news in all of this is that we do not walk alone. We are fed with the very Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation to give us strength and hope. :D. May you be blessed day by day as you strive to follow the LORD.+

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