Lent 2013: Questions for the 1st Sunday of Lent

Lent 2013

Questions for  the 1st Sunday of Lent

Readings: Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 Romans 10:8-13  Deuteronomy 21:1—25:19  Luke 4:1-13

“Steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O you righteous, and shout for joy all you upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:10-11)

Continuing my reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, the words of God through Moses leap out to me again…

  • 21:9—purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst
  • 21:18—purge the evil from your midst
  • 22:21—so you shall purge the evil from your midst
  • 22:22—so you shall purge the evil from your midst
  • 22:24—so you shall purge the evil from your midst

Not to make the obvious trite, but it seems that God wants to make it abundantly clear that His people are intended to be holy, pure, undefiled. I think the reasons are far more reaching than for this to be for a single purpose, and that primarily for show. While the visible example of purity and holiness is likely one of the purposes, I think an extended reason for this purity is that we need it. We are easily distracted…and what distracts us often corrupts us. We are influenced by what we come in contact by and keep company with. The examples of this are many, but one quick example is the acceptance of violence and sexuality in T.V. programming. Through the course of my life, there has been a major shift in what we permit to come into our homes on the television…in fact, not only is it permitted, for very many it is acceptable and demanded. This illustrates why purity and undefilement may have been so rigorously and unwaveringly demanded by our God.

This begs the question of me; “What compromises do I continue to make in keeping myself holy and undefiled for the purposes of God and the health of our relationship?”

“The Lord your God is the one to whom you must do homage, him alone you must serve.” (Matt. 4:10)

Another set of questions I think are good for me to ponder as I venture through this Lenten season, I found today while reading a book, Small Surrenders by Emilie Griffith. In it she quotes a question from Brennan Manning, who asks; “How is my life unfolding in terms of my primary goal of living with God forever?”

This is a pretty big question and might be difficult to nail down in practical terms, so Emilie unpacks this question with a more specific list that helps us to address the bigger examination of our heart. She asks the following:

  • What am I doing with my time?
  • What am I doing with life?
  • How well am I expressing the imprint of Christ upon my heart?
  • How deep is my charity?
  • How deep is my love?
  • How well am I functioning in the Christian life?

And, the question I completed the list with that “popped” into my head as I pondered these—“Am I becoming all that God desires and has destined for me to become?”

I think I will sit with and revisit these through my Lenten journey…

Our Prayer from Charles de Foucauld

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you; I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve and with boundless confidence. For you are my Father.

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