Fourth Sunday in Lent

Readings for the day

Here are some questions to prayerfully consider:

Joshua 5: 9-12

The people of Israel struggled in the wilderness, God provided manna, but here we see a transition from eating manna to eating the “crops of the land of Canaan that year” God’s provisions come in many forms and we are asked to trust that even in changing times God will provide.

Take some time to reflect on the different avenues God has used to provide for you. Express your gratitude to God.

2 Cor 5:16-21

Themes of reconciliation and new creation are so important as we move close to the events of Holy Week. These verses call us to action – what Christ has modeled, we must live into.

What is your typical orientation toward others? Could you spend a whole day trying to regard those you encounter as God’s beloved and drop your usual judgements?

Could you be an agent of Christ’s reconciling work in the world? What would that look like for you? Where or with whom could you start?

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

The Pharisees and scribes (and sometimes his disciples) were often grumbling about what Jesus did and didn’t do. They could not control him, and he had the habit of breaking rules and crossing boundaries that they thought were so important.

When was the last time you broke bread with someone outside you “regular” circle, someone who even made you uncomfortable or stretched you in some way?

One of the many themes in the parable of the Prodigal Son is that of fairness, I wonder how often we focus on this in our own lives. What would it be like if we spent intentional time working for the good of those who’ve suffered in unjust and unfair circumstances?  What physical action could you take today on behalf of someone who is struggling? Are you willing to go a bit further than usual to show God’s love toward someone who suffers?

Psalm 32

This psalm reflects several metaphors for forgiveness: forgiveness as God bears it away, forgiveness as God covers our sin and forgiveness in the form of a change in judgment.

Consider the ways you are called to forgive those around you, ponder whom you may need to forgive today.

Now, think about the vast mercy and forgiveness of God. We struggle to wrap our brains around it. Reflect on the many ways you have experienced forgiveness from God and ponder anew his goodness towards you. Let it sink in. If you were to wrap up the forgiveness you have received and pass it on to someone else, who would you give it to and why?