… from Worship at Good Sam on February 22, 2015 (First Sunday of Lent)
FIRST READING: Genesis 9:8–17 Today’s reading is the conclusion to the flood story. Because of human sin, the Lord destroys the earth by flood, saving only Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark. Yet divine destruction gives way to divine commitment. As in the first creation, God blesses humanity and establishes a covenant with all creatures.
SECOND READING: 1 Peter 3:18–22 As God acted through Christ’s suffering and death to bring us to God, so God acts through baptism to save us from a sinful existence. This spiritual cleansing marks our new life in Christ.
GOSPEL: Mark 1:9–15 The Spirit that comes upon Jesus at his baptism sustains him when he is tested by Satan so that he might proclaim the good news of God’s reign.
Ever notice the number forty happens often in the Scriptures? Forty days (or years) is long enough to change you. The term forty suggests a life-altering experience, a trial and testing of faith. It is an experience where heaven meets earth and we discover ourselves anew. All these are images of forty from the Scriptures: Noah survives forty days of flooding, Jesus journeys forty days in the desert, Moses is on Mount Sinai for forty days, the people of Israel wander forty years in the wilderness. What life-altering journeys have you been through? How were you different as you emerged from them? Perhaps you have yet to break through or just now you see light at the end of the tunnel. How have you been led or directed to these events and how have the angels been with you to comfort and provide for you? What messages of God are present in these chapters from your life? These things are all implicit in the symbolic forty experiences from the Scripture.
“Journeys Have a Way of Beginning All on Their Own”