You are invited to take a deeper look at the lessons from the liturgy of the day, on Sundays and Holy Days in Lent. Clergy and lay leaders have prepared this resource especially for you as a gift from the Center for Spirituality at Christ Church. The brief reflections include links to the reading for the day, and questions for you to consider.
The Second Sunday in Lent
The saga of Abram and Sarai, later known as Abraham and Sarah, begins in the Book of Genesis right after the story of Noah, the ark, and the Flood. It’s a saga about a family that almost wasn’t a family. God singles out the childless couple and invites them into a relationship of radical trust, calling them to leave their country and travel to a new land – the land of Canaan. In return for their trust, God promises them a family and a new land which will belong to their descendants forever.
To trust God with a future that we can’t imagine may be something we hold in common with Abram and Sarai. Has there been a time in your life that you knew that God was calling you from something – to something? And that in the midst of that call, you experienced a lot of doubt, questioning, and uncertainty? If so, you would feel right at home in following the story of Abram and Sarai. In the portion of the story we read in today’s lessons, Abram hears God’s voice: “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.” Trusting God, doubting God, following God and questioning God is just part and parcel of our relationship with God. In fact, I think God would worry more about us if we didn’t question the ways in which we too are called throughout our lifetimes. That move from fear to faith is one that most of us experience over and over again.
Most of the time, I think we imagine Jesus pretty much sailing through his teaching, preaching and healing ministry with a non-anxious presence. Not so in today’s gospel. As Jesus tersely sends a message to Herod “the fox” through the Pharisees, I can almost picture Jesus drawing himself up, leaning forward with an angry countenance, and pointing his finger at the Pharisees while delivering his message. This is not the calm, peaceful, relaxed Jesus. This is the man who knows he is on a mission, and that time is running out. He is headed to Jerusalem and to what he knows will be the final showdown with his fellow Jews; those that are determined to cut his ministry short.