Fourth Sunday in Lent

Welcome to Lent!!

(If you’re coming into this brand new, you might want to check out my first post in this series, so you don’t mistake this for any sort of ‘proper’ Lenten observance.)

Can you believe we are nearing the end of Lent 2017!?

 

This has been a tougher Lent for me in some ways than last year. I feel pulled in many directions right now, so my best ‘focus’ intentions haven’t resulted in as much focus action as I’d like.

Having the intention, however, helps me to refocus periodically throughout the day, the week. It reminds me that this is an observance, a practice, not an achievement.

And I suppose it ought to be reminding me that Lent, Easter, ETERNITY, aren’t about MY achievement or effort anyway!

How about you?

Have you found any interesting lessons in this latest week of Lent?

 

I am intrigued by the verses for today. They don’t have quite the obvious application to Lent as some of the other weeks.

And some of them kind of surprised me!

In the passage from Samuel I never noticed how God pretty much tells Samuel, “No worries, give this as your excuse…” !! Now, Samuel, of course, makes the excuse truthful, by making the sacrifice, but that isn’t the plan when God gives the order!

Sometimes God doesn’t seem nearly as uptight about rules as we are.

Another thing that caught my eye in this passage is how it begins with God’s saying ‘Don’t grieve over Saul anymore, I’ve got completely different plans.’

I find it interesting that that was a problem for Samuel.

It’s a problem for me.

Frequently.

But Samuel is this famous, hot-shot Prophet! Surely he wouldn’t get lost in clinging to plans without considering that God has better ones, right?

Yet he does.

Gives me some degree of comfort. Maybe God’s okay with me needing that little nudge here and there.

If you are using the Lectionary material as part of your celebration of Lent, here are all today’s verses in one place.

 

Or, if you prefer the a la carte option:

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Psalm 23    ← This is the most famous version, and it’s very popular, so I want to make sure to include it. But since some folks find the older translations too complicated here is a more modern version too. 

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

And of course we have ART  and  PRAYERS as well!

We are back to a set of thematic prayers that should feel pretty familiar by now. But the intercessory prayer is definitely new, and I love this one! 

My brothers and sisters:
reconciled to God by the mercy of Christ,
we pray with confidence for the needs of the church and the world.

(Prayers of the People, concluding with:)

Through Christ you make us a new creation, O God,
for with him we pass from sin to the new life of grace.
Accept our prayers in the warm embrace of your compassion,
and welcome all people to the festive banquet of your table,
where we may rejoice in your love
and celebrate the inheritance you have given to us.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen¹.

I think that is the most personal one so far.

 

The next Lent Post will be Sunday, 2 April. 

 

 

Be well.

 

¹ Reprinted from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers, copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts

 

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