Monday, March 2, 2009

Time in the Word - Lent 2

The theme for the Second Sunday in Lent is The Cross Way of Life. The Gospel of Lent 1 was related to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Today the public ministry draws to a close. Today’s Gospel follows the experience at Caesarea Philippi where Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ. If he is the Messiah, he must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. Likewise, his followers must adopt this same style of life: denial, suffering, and the cross. They way of the cross leads home to God. In the Gospel lesson the Lord calls Abraham to walk before Him and be blameless. We do this through our adoption into the family of God. Out of suffering, Paul says, in the Epistle lesson, ultimately comes hope and out of Jesus’ passion comes reconciliation with God. The Psalm urges us to trust this God of mercy. The suggested Hymn of the Day is related to the Gospel lesson which calls upon the Christian to take up the cross and follow after Jesus.

Monday, 2 March 2009Psalm 115:11-13; antiphon, Psalm 25:6—The Introit sets the theme for the day: Lent is a time of suffering as the way of the cross often involves suffering for the Christian. In the midst of our suffering we cry out with the Psalmist “Remember Your mercy O Lord, and Your steadfast love. We ask the Father to look at us through His eye of mercy as He remembers the work of Christ our Savior.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009Psalm 22:23-31—In this psalm, David vows to praise the Lord when the Lord’s sure deliverance comes. The vows proper appear in Vv. 22, 25. Verses 23-24 anticipate the calls to praise that will accompany the psalmist’s praise. Verses 26-31 describe the expanding company of those who will take up the praise – a worldwide company of persons form every station in life and continuing through the generations. No psalm or prophecy contains a grander vision of this scope of the throng of worshipers who will join in the praise of God’s saving acts.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16—Our Old Testament reading Abram’s name is changed to Abraham as the Lord gives him the covenant of circumcision. The covenant is God’s. God calls it “my covenant” as He initiates and established it. God has covenanted to keep His promises. The Lord gives us His pledge to be the protector of His people and the One who provides for their well-being and guarantees their future blessings.

Thursday, 5 March 2009Romans 5:1-11—Paul teaches that Christians have peace with God through the reconciliation made possible by the cross. This lesson is a transition from justification by faith to a life of faith beginning with chapter 6. Hence we have Paul’s “therefore” (v.1) By grace through faith, we are one with God in peace and harmony. Out of this relationship come reasons to rejoice: that we share in the glory of God (v.2) that we experience suffering that eventuates in hope (vv.3, 4); and that we are reconciled to God through Christ (v.11). In our suffering, sin and weakness, God comes to us in love expressed in the death of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, 6 March 2009Mark 8:27-38— Jesus teaches that He must suffer and die and calls upon His disciples to follow Him in the same.

Jesus and the Disciples are at Caesarea Philippi. Peter had confessed Jesus as the Christ. Thereupon Jesus explains to His disciples that as the Messiah He must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. This did not fit into Peter’s conception of the Messiah and therefore he rebukes Jesus. Jesus sees this as a temptation not to go to the cross. He turns down the temptation by seeing Satan in Peter. Then, in the second part of the lesson (vv. 34-38), Jesus explains to both disciples and people that they, too, are to take the way of the cross that involves denial, suffering, and sacrifice.

The rugged cross means a rugged way of life for a follower of Christ. The Christian style of life is a hard life. Jesus’ life consisted of sorrow, rejection, suffering, and death. His followers can expect no less. The Christian life has a cross at its center. John Donne said, “No cross is so extreme, as to have none. There is no gain without pain.” President Truman had a sign on his desk: “Bring me only bad news. Good news weakens me.” In Tom Sawyer Clemens wrote, “He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in orders to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.”

Saturday, 7 March 2009Luke 3:22-23 - The hymn of the Day Great is Thy Faithfulness {LSB 809}. The suggested reference reminds us that God was faithful to His promise in sending the Holy Spirit upon His only Son as He began His ministry. God is faithful to all of His promises. As He promised to send His Son, to anoint Him with the Holy Spirit, this same Son will work our salvation. The promises of God are fulfilled in the work of His Son our Savior Jesus Christ.

Collect for the Second Sunday in LentO God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures).

Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing Lima, OH

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