Solor will be having Maundy Thursday Worship with Holy Communion on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 7PM. Please join us!
For centuries, , theologians have tried to describe how Jesus can simultaneously bed fully God and fully human. As we begin our Lenten journey, this story about the temptation of Jesus reminds me of what someone once said: “I am a Christian because I believe that as a human being, Jesus knows firsthand what I’m experiencing. So when I pray to him, I know he knows what I’m talking about.” Temptation is a daily part of our human lives. We can look at ourselves honestly during this holy season and trust that the forgiveness and comfort offered to us by Jesus takes seriously all of human experience. Even though we may not know exactly how to talk about it, we trust that Immanuel, God-with-us, is indeed the one who suffered, died and was raised for us – and who knows our human experience intimately.
Jesus, as you guide us, we commend our Lenten journey to you. Amen
We don’t have to understand Paul’s reasoning to appreciate his central truth and the difference it makes for our lives. Even though we daily observe humankind’s failure to live out relationships of love and justice, our failure is not God’s final verdict. Condemnation is not what God metes out. Our propensity to turn away from God and be deceived about who we are in our DNA. But God’s grace, inexplicable and magnanimous, is more than enough to bring us into right relationship with God. Restored repeatedly by God’s great love, just as the psalmist prayed we would be (Psalm 51:10-12), we are bold to engage this tear-filled world with hope for justice and peace.
Faithful Lord, thank you for loving us more than we could imagine. May profound gratitude for your generous gifts shape our relationships with your people and all creation. Amen.
Both Paul and Isaiah remind us that we are not cast away from God’s presence. We receive the gift of God’s own Holy Spirit at our baptism into the body of Christ. But in our daily lives we often lose sight of that life-giving gift and our calling to be ambassadors of God. Or we grow weary and weak. It is not easy to love our neighbors in a world where love is not often welcome or to speak truthfully in a world that loves deceit. The Psalmist knows that God alone can restore our awareness, our joy in a relationship with creation and its creator. Only God can sustain us through all those things that would rob us of joy and darken our vision.
Let us simply lift our hearts with the psalmist and pray, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:20b – 6:10
How shocking to imagine that God makes appeals through us ordinary men and women. Are we really speaking and acting as God’s ambassadors wherever we are in the world? This is exactly what St. Paul claims about himself and about us as well. Paul insists that, no matter what happens to us, we show the world something of God’s love by reaching out as God has done – in holiness of spirit and genuine love. Can you picture this? What if Christians proclaimed their God by engaging the world as God did in Christ and does in the Holy Spirit?
Loving God, loving us humans has been hard. It cost you your beloved son. But you have never given up on us, never abandoned us. Open our eyes and hearts to be ambassadors for you by loving our fellow creatures with the holy generosity and perseverance you provide. Amen.