March 9, 2011
Thursday, Day Two
Morning - Psalm 27, Genesis 19:1-3, 12-17, 24-28, 1 Cor. 1:1-17
Evening - Psalm 29, Psalm 30, Jeremiah 1:4-10, 13-19, John 8:1-11
The woman taken in adultery shows the great mercy of God. He rejoices over every sinner that repents. He forgives every sin. He wants only life and good things for His people. We would expect Him to cast the first stone. It was His Law that required death for the crime. He is the One who cannot look upon sin. Yet His words, like His actions, are those of grace and forgiveness. "Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more." The reading encourages us to seek this God of Grace. If this woman can be forgiven, will He not also forgive us?
Perhaps you are new to the practice of Lent. If so, you may wonder, why Lent? It is true that the Bible says nothing of Lent, but it does in many places encourage the things we do in Lent. The Christian's goal is to spend every day in the closest devotion and fellowship with God. In practice, other things often crowd out this goal. It is important, therefore, to set aside time for the specific purpose of reconnecting to God. Some traditions do this through “Revival Meetings.” Some use religious “retreats” and "conferences." We in the Anglican Orthodox Church do this in the forty days prior to Easter, the time called Lent. The Collect for Ash Wednesday sets forth our goal in a beautiful and Biblical prayer, which we pray every day during the Lenten Season:
"Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
There is logic in the flow of the Church Calendar, as there is logic in the Scripture readings for each season. Advent begins a time of serious study of the life and ministry of Christ. Advent leads to Christmas. Christmas leads to Epiphany. Epiphany leads to Lent. Lent leads to Good Friday and Easter. All of these follow major events in the ministry of Christ. Lent itself follows Christ as He sets His face toward
and the cross. Jerusalem