Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday – March 5, 2019 –Psalm 2:6

I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.

When all is over -- when Moses and Elijah are gone, the voice is quiet, Jesus' face and clothing have returned to normal, the disciples are left in holy awe. All that is left is…Jesus. Whatever all these signs and symbols may have meant, the disciples are once again with their Lord, their teacher, their friend. This is perhaps one of the signature characteristics of Matthew. Jesus, the one whose clothes and face shone like the sun, the one equal to Moses and Elijah, the one whom the very heavens proclaim as God's own beloved Son, will not leave them. This is Gospel.

When all else fades -- and indeed, soon enough all will become dark indeed -- yet Jesus remains, reaching out in help and healing. At the very close of Matthew's account, he will gather with these and all of his disciples on another mountain, the mountain of ascension, and promise that he will be with them even to the close of the age.

Most of us have had mountain top experiences and can testify to their importance to our lives. But all of us have also had to return to the valley. At both places, and all those in between, Jesus is there, reaching out to raise us to life again.

Tomorrow begins the discipline of Lent. We leave the mountain of Transfiguration and enter into the valley of Lent. Jesus will climb that holy hill; a hill called Calvary. Through this exercise of sacrifice and meditation we draw closer to Jesus and to each other. I trust this will be a time in which you experience Christ’s presences in circumstances you might not have expected. Through this Lenten journey may Christ abide with you. 

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help, of the helpless, O abide with me.[1]   

God of infinite mercy, grant that we who know Your compassion may rejoice in Your forgiveness and gladly forgive others for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior who is alive with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. [2]

 1.  Abide with Me, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
 2.  Collect for Shrove Tuesday Web http://liturgy.co.nz/shrove-tuesday

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