Monday of Lent 1 19 February 2018 Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
These words contain what is commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments. There is a tendency for us to follow only the external content of the law. That is, to regard or to be concerned only with the outward form of the law. To follow the commandment but disregard the meaning. The rich young man attempting to justify himself argued, “these I have kept since my youth.” (Matthew 19:20) Yet the Lord demands of us perfection. “You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy.” That’s an ultimatum!
True, none of us are murderers. But we all have the capacity for anger. None of us has committed adultery. But we all have the capacity for lustful thoughts. During this season of Lent the Savior does not look for rightness. He seeks humility, repentance and faith.
God never tires of hearing us repent. He doesn’t disregard it, treat it lightly, disparage the person repenting, or, throw them away. He mends. He heals. He forgives. He strengthens. And while we should always strive, as athletes do, not to fall, we do, and even if we should fall thousands of times, we stand back up, we repent, and God grants us forgiveness—for we are all the work of His hand.
Hymn: Christ the Life of All the Living (Lutheran Service Book 420:6)
Thou hast suffered great affliction
And hast borne It patiently
Even death by crucifixion,
Fully to atone for me;
Thou didst choose to be tormented
That my doom should be prevented,
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
Dearest Jesus unto Thee.
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully increase in us Your gifts of holy discipline, in almsgiving, prayer and fasting; that our lives may be directed to the fulfilling of Your most gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. 1
Collect for Monday of Lent 1, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm
Thoughts derived from a July 2017 sermon written by Pr. Ken Kelly, Johnstown, PA