Sunday, March 10, 2013

On the 4th Sunday in Lent

From Today's Lectionary:
On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God." ... Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." So the place has been called Gilgal to this day. On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.  (Joshua 4:19-24; 5:9-12 NIV)

This Sunday, we crossed the midpoint in this Lenten season on our journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday and before we know, we'll be loudly proclaiming "Alleluia, Christ is Risen!"  All of this said, I find this morning's readings to be especially poignant.

If we were to consider today's readings, OT, NT and Gospel, we might see a picture of us taken in the past, present, and future.  (Those readings were the aforementioned, Luke 15:1-3;11-32 and 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.) 

Everyone of us, from our fallen birth were rebels and enemies of the Almighty.  Like the younger brother in the Gospel, we disparaged our Father wanting his bounty while wishing him dead.  We lived life on our own terms and soon found ourselves enslaved and eating pig slop.  We turned our eyes towards home and while trying to renegotiate rapprochement on our terms, the Father threw his arms around us and brought us back into his home.  

Like Israel in entering the land of God's promise, we're reminded of God's care in our desert wanderings.  We see his provision at every turn.  That provision carried Israel all the way from the clay pits of Goshen to the plains of Jericho.

Saint Paul in writing to the Corinthians reminds us why we've been redeemed; to remind us how   
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Words to consider on a warm Sunday in March.

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