Lenten Devotion, First Week of Lent

Devotion for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, February 14
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Exodus 5: 10-23
Acts 7:30-34

Friday, February 15
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Exodus 6:1-13
Acts 7:35-42

Saturday, February 16
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
John 12:27-36

Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to [Moses] in the
wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. Acts 7:30

This week, we begin our annual forty-day Lenten journey from the light of the Epiphany of Our Lord to the darkness of Golgotha and the subsequent
brilliant dawning of the day of resurrection. Why forty?

The traditional answer is, “Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness after his baptism.” But why forty days?

To the earliest Christians, including the writers of the New Testament, the number forty had symbolic significance rooted in its extensive use in the Hebrew scriptures, the Old Testament.

For forty days Noah and his family endured a deluge that is said to have
exterminated the known world.

They were spared because they trusted God’s promise to save them and built a vessel to God’s specification, disregarding their neighbors’ derision.
The Children of Israel wandered in the desert for forty days, sustained by bread sent from God. Despite their grumblings and rebellions, God kept the covenant and led them to the land of promise.

Jonah watched, begrudging every minute, as the sinful Ninevites changed their ways and saw God spare them from destruction.

In each case, God demanded that the promise be trusted, that the time of trial be answered with repentance. And in each case, God’s promise was kept with a sign of salvation.

Prayer: Lord,. Lead us on our Lenten journey and help us return to the path you have asked us to walk. Strengthen us to trust in your promise that we may rejoice more fully in the renewal of life that awaits us at the end of our travel. Amen.

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