Daily Lenten Devotion Tuesday, February 19th

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – Psalm 34; Deuteronomy 9:(1-3) 4-12; Hebrews 3:1-11 and John 2:13-22

Psalm 34 – 1   I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2   My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3   O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together. …

11  Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12  Which of you desires life,
and covets many days to enjoy good?
13  Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14  Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.

I can’t think of a single person who does not desire life, real life and covets days to enjoy good. I think we all do. Yet we like all who have gone before us ignore God’s holy laws and follow our own ways. Instead of seeking to do the good God calls us to do, we do that which leads us away from God’s light and God’s love.

In the Isaiah reading that I’ll be preaching on this Sunday, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 we hear;

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

All our iniquity, all our sin is laid upon the Christ. He pays the price for us and in doing so calls us to follow him.

An aspect of Lent is, examining ourselves to see where we follow our own ways instead of God’s ways. Once identified, we seek to repent of our sin and turn towards God and God’s holy ways. One way I understand this is striving to allow god to upright the apple cart that we have upset.

I encourage you to read the texts from Deuteronomy and Hebrews for they speak to the devotion for today.

Deuteronomy 9:(1-3) 4-12 – 6Know, then, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to occupy because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. 7Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; you have been rebellious against the LORD from the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place. (and will continue to be.)

Hebrews 3:1-11 – 7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,  (see Psalm 95:7-11)
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8   do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9   where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.’

Friends, may we seek to “depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it”. (Psalm 34:14)

Here is a prayer of confession that comes from the Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal but in many others as well).

Merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you
with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be,
so that we may delight in your will
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your holy name.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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