Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15 – Moses and the Burning Bush
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight–why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
Psalm 103: 1-4, 6-8, 11
1 Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12 – Warnings From Israel’s History
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
10 And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
Luke 13:1-9 – Repent or Perish
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ “
Let us pray
for confidence in the love of God
and the strength to overcome our weaknesses.
God of all compassion, Father of all goodness,
please heal the wounds that result from our sins and selfishness.
We acknowledge our sinfulness, and we ask for your forgiveness.
When we are discouraged by our weaknesses,
let your compassion fill us with enduring hope
and confidence in your love.
We are deeply aware that there is a struggle going on within us.
We turn to God, that we might not become discouraged.
We rely on God’s compassion and love for us.
We acknowledge who we are
sinners who experience the consequences of our selfishness –
but we know we are loved and we desire to be filled with hope.
As we go into this week, please renew our desire to continue our
prayer, fasting and generosity toward others.
Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who offers to us His gift of grace.
Let us pray to Him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, you have brought blessings to all mankind;
– help us to share your concern for the good of all.
May we work together to build Your earthly kingdom,
– with our eyes fixed on the kingdom that lasts forever.
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through your constant care.
So many times I turn away from
you andalways you welcome me back.
Your mercy and love
givesme great confidence.
Thank you for the invitation to love others, fast and pray –
during this Lenten Season may you form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the joy we will share
when we celebrate Easter.