This post continues our walk through Lent. To find out more about Lent, go here. We begin each week with a reflection that includes scriptures and prayers that can be used daily as meditation and devotion. The three of us are also doing this Lent calendar and will be posting on how our “fasts” connect to the weeks readings.
There comes a time in every relationship where some of the mystery is revealed. In every interaction we find ourselves a little lost, looking for context and a point of reference as we try to figure out the other person. You see – no situation, interaction, or new experience comes with a guidebook. We kind of have to figure it out for ourselves.
That is why we love clues in relationships. Those “aha!” moments where some of the veil is lifted where we can see a little clearer. These moments come in moments of affinity or shared language and can bring comfort to stress. When we here a “me too!” or gain clarity to confusion we find ourselves better for the relationship.
Our connections break down when things are confusing or unclear over an extended period of time. We need these moments of clarity to know we are on the right track and these connections are worth maintaining.
As we enter into the liturgy during this week of Lent, the veil is being lifted on Christ’s intentions with his ministry. We find the heart of God for his people being poured out in the Psalm. The covenant relationship is revealed to Abraham in the midst of great doubt.
As you fast and observe Lent, know it is not in vain. This road is going somewhere and we should continue to travel, even if we have experienced failure or discouragement.
I hope this week God lifts the veil and reveals to you another part of the mystery. Keep your eyes open as you seek him through the scriptures and through your Lenten experience.
May your week be blessed.
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh– my adversaries and foes– they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! 10 If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence. I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
Lord, sometimes we get discouraged
You are hard to see when our eyes are covered
Give me the strength and disciple to seek you where you may be found
Help me to see the clues
Restore my sense of wonder
Defeat the spirit of apathy in my heart
Let my attitude be that of a child
Exploring the unseen frontiers of my heart
Let me seek you with everything I have this week.