The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:

First Reading: Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm 25:1-10
Second Reading: I Peter 3:18-22
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:9-15

The liturgical color for the day is: Purple

This Sunday marks the First Sunday in Lent.  Notice that word “in” in the description of the day.  The season of lent is 40 days long from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.  If one just sits down with a calendar and counts the days, there are 46 days.  The Sundays in the season are not traditionally counted as part of the penitential season. The 40 days of lent become a way of marking time and helping us to remember who we are.

Lent has become a season of preparation for Christians. It is an annual setting aside of time in order to prepare, discern, and repent.

40 days of flood. 40 years in the wilderness. 40 days of temptation. Mark tells us plainly: “He (Jesus) was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.”

It is that 40 days that we now rehearse—we try them on again. We do them again. We put ourselves into the story and movement of scripture. It is an opening of our lives to what God will do among us in this time.  Lent becomes this liminal space where we have this opportunity to make a deliberate choice to turn our attention towards God’s tearing open the heavens to be near us.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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