WORSHIP TOGETHER | Sunday 3-6-2022

Feb 28, 2022 | General Presbyter & Stated Clerk, Resources, Worship Together, Worship Together Front Page

Sunday, March 6, 2022
First Sunday in Lent

The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
– First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:1-11

– Psalm: 91:1-2, 9-16
– Second Reading: Romans 10:8b-13
– Gospel Reading: Luke 4:1-13

The liturgical color for the day is: Purple

This Sunday marks the First Sunday in Lent.  That little preposition “in” is worthy of paying a bit of attention.  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. It is reminiscent of the 40 days of deluge of the flood. That number 40 reminds us of the 40 years of wandering in the desert for the people in pursuit of the Promise Land. They were wandering not because they could not find their way on the map, but because it took that long for the generation to rise and fall and form them as a people whose identity was no longer Egypt but a covenant people.

40 days of flood. 40 years in the wilderness. 40 days of temptation. Luke tells us plainly: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.”

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.

These three temptations should always be read from the perspective that while Israel does not act correctly in the wilderness; Jesus does act in a way that he does not yield to those temptations.  It may be framed that Jesus is getting it right and now bringing Israel back on course from where they had strayed—and doing that for us too.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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