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Posts Tagged ‘lectionary’

woman walking labyrinth

But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear [as in adore] him,     on those whose hope is in his unfailing love . . . [Psalm 33:18]

I’ve written about “unfailing love” several times. This phrase captures so succinctly my heart toward God and my faith in God towards me. It’s a mantra. I am resolute.

It’s always a challenge for me to select source material for each day. People think of me as creative but really I’m more adaptive. Give me a kernel and from that I can often spring forward. Over time, my structured responses have been around the seasons such as Advent and Lent, and once, for three years, I plodded through the New Testament. That was a wonderful time of discovery. But at the closure of these efforts, I flounder. I once tried the same kind of slow journey, section or verse by verse, through the Old Testament, and although there were many fascinating moments and stories, by the time I reached the histories, I missed experiencing the message of grace upon which I thrive.

So, today, after a two day hiatus from posting, I am going to attach myself to a Lectionary. The concept of lectionary comes down through the Judaic principle of “appointed scripture readings” according to a calendar or given days. This practice is referenced in the gospels when Jesus is asked to read the day’s assigned passage in the synagogue [Luke 4] and it was from Isaiah 61, a prophecy of his own coming. Although there are various lectionaries from a variety of denominations, I’m not really concerned about those differences. For now, I’ll reference the Episcopalian one I found online.

Art by Delores Develde

Art by Delores Develde

And so it has happened today, that I find myself back to my Beloved and the unfailing love of God through Christ Jesus. And for this year, I will be His bride, for I need the protection and stability of that love and the confidence that my Lord will collect my tears.

You keep track of all my sorrows.     You have collected all my tears in your bottle.     You have recorded each one in your book. [Psalm 56:8, NIV]

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Michelangelo's Pieta

Since the Sundays in Lent are generally excluded from most Lenten rituals, I decided to do something a little different on Sundays as well. I looked up the Lectionary for today, Year B. A Lectionary (a list of scripture readings appointed for a given day or occasion) is generally used by denominations that follow the church calendar such as Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, or Episcopalians. Judaism also has a lectionary of Torah readings.

Today, the readings are from Genesis 9:8-17 (Old Testament); Psalm 25:1-10 (Psalm, usually read responsively); I Peter 3:18-22 (New Testament); and Mark 1:9-15 (One of the Gospels).

The phrase that captured my imagination is from I Peter 3:18b “He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”

It is through the transformation that Jesus endured from his 40 days in the desert to his death and resurrection that his Christ-ness is revealed to Human and the Holy Spirit is given to Earth to dwell with us and in us. It is the ultimate integration of the covenant God made with Noah for the sake of all life on earth which he signed with a rainbow. Jesus began his three year ministry after his trial in the desert; his first message was straightforward: “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” [Mark 1:15] Christ=Kingdom of God.

And lastly, I had a secondary serendipitous experience. For the last 6 months or so, I have started my morning devotion time with a single scripture, to prepare my heart and mind. This is what I wrote on the top of every page: “Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are my God and Savior and my trust is You.” [Psalm 25:5] To find the same passage in today’s Lectionary confirmed the rightness of choice and serene presence, as though, I too was being made alive in the Spirit.

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