We are two and a half weeks into our Lenten journey. Today’s readings come as powerful reminders that Lent is not about what we are doing for God, but what God is doing for us! They describe a God who is full of compassion and offers forgiveness. A God who throws our sins into the depths of the sea, and welcomes us home with open arms. A God who says to us “everything I have is yours.”
God does not merely forgive us and allow us to come home (that in itself is enough!) God not only runs to meet us and has a feast to celebrate — but God is actually watching for us, calling to us, actively looking for us, seeking for ways to draw us in and bring us home!
How is God drawing you closer today? Will you let yourself be drawn close and brought home to his loving embrace?
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago. 15 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.”
18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
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,
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Luke 15:11-32 – The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ‘ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
God our Father,
thank you for the gifts you give to us here on earth.
In all we do today,
guide us to seek the light of your kingdom
May we celebrate and
rejoice thisSaturday of Lent.
May we learn from the parable of the two sons:
– one who is ungrateful and leaves, but returns, and
– one who will not accept the forgiveness
the father lavishes on the other.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Savior, and ask him with confidence:
Lord, fill us with your grace.
May we keep our bodies pure,
as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this day to the service of others,
and do your will in all things throughout the day.
Teach us to seek the bread of everlasting life,
the bread that is your gift.
God of infinite love,
you shower me with limitless gifts in my life.
In my every thought and action
today guideme to seek your bright and loving light.
Help me to be aware
of themany ways you allow me toshare in your life so intimately today.
Thank you for the gifts you have placed in my life.
Let me be grateful every moment of this day.