My regular daily office reading has me in the Gospel of Matthew currently and today was Matthew 25.
It is still hard for me to read this passage and not have my upbringing in Bible reading flood my thoughts. In the past I was sure Matthew 24 and 25 were about the “end times” as in: “Are you rapture ready?” They are about the end times… and we are living in those times.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations, and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen.
My Lenten Scripture reading is HERE.
Today leads me to Psalm 103. I am reminded to rejoice in his mercy!
“Draw us, Lord, toward you, toward your way of self-giving love. Draw us away from all that is not love — from the forces of greed, fear, anxiety, and brutality. In this Lenten experience of so being drawn toward you and away from the powers of the world, may we come to find that new life that is the meaning of Easter. Amen.” — Walter Brueggemann, A Way Other Than Our Own
“The church at Corinth is not called to pious, romantic, goosey religion but simply to practice the memory of Jesus and to let that memory be fully present tense… Christians sort these matters out around Jesus, because we are endlessly seduced by imagining the glory is to be found in our technology, in our brightness, in our achievement, in our power, in our wealth, in our loveliness, or in our fitness. No, no, no! It is found in the face and body and life and story of the one who suffers in and with and for the world.” — Walter Brueggemann, A Way Other Than Our Own
Last Sunday in worship I realized how long Lent really was, even though I’ve worked to walk through Lent the last several years. The liturgy on Sunday in the Anglican Church amplifies that longing. We don’t sing as many songs. The songs are more “mournful” in a way. Lent gets long and I’m thinking, “Wow! Could we hurry this up?” Read more
As surely as there will be messed up theology and practice in the Church, there is a marked way home. Our challenge is to follow it. That’s hard because it’s not the dynamic way. It’s not full of light shows and professional music and polished communicators. Read more
2 Timothy 3:1–5 (NIV): But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Welcome to the American Church. 2019. Read more
Some thoughts from Walter Brueggemann’s Lenten devotional, A Way Other Than Our Own:
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:34-36, NIV)
I can remember a seminary professor saying, “You don’t need to go looking for a cross. One has been readily provided.”
Lord, too often my aversion to the cross steers me away from the glory of your resurrection. Keep me in the shadow of your cross and may its daily work have an ever deepening impact on my life. Amen.