FROM DEATH TO LIFE ETERNAL
These daily reflections for Lent are a collection of hymns, prayers, and Scriptures; meditations that point us to our Savior. Readings for each week will be posted on Mondays. Printed copies are available in the Narthex and the church office.
April 21, 2019
"Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!"
Our celebration of Christ resurrection, triumphing over death, continues beyond Easter Sunday. "Eastertide" refers to the 50-day period from Easter to Pentecost, when - after Jesus' ascension into Heaven - the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in Jerusalem. This devotional includes a few readings for these joyful days. Our Lord is risen, and His reign is eternal; we have great cause to rejoice!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, o grave? Alleluia!
(Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Charles Wesley, 1739)
April 07, 2019
It is the week before Palm Sunday, the week before Holy Week. We have read the Lord's promises to Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham; we have seen His faithfulness to deliver the Israelites. This week, we read of His continued faithfulness, and the promise of a new covenant, though again and again His people have turned away. In Jeremiah, the Lord promises to write HIs law upon our hearts. We will know Him, and He will remember our sin no more. In the readings from the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks of His death - "the Son of Man must be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life." In this second to last week of Lent, the week before Jesus enters Jerusalem, we are reminded again of our sin and of our need for a Savior.
March 31, 2019
How quickly we forget the mercies of the Lord! The Israelites, rescued out of slavery in Egypt, are growing impatient in the desert. They grumble and complain; they turn from the Lord; and Moses intercedes on their behalf. In the same way, we grow inpatient; we are short-sighted; though we have been set free, we fall back into sin. Not so with our God! In Exodus 34 He reveals Himself to Moses, declaring that He is, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty." How can we, an unholy people, stand before a Holy God? Moses' face shone, reflecting God's glory, and the Israelites were afraid. We have a great High Priest, a greater Moses, Christ, who intercedes on our behalf. As it says in Isaiah 53, "He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors."
March 24, 2019
In this week's readings are two stories of sacrifice, two foreshadowings of Christ's death for us. In Genesis 22, God commands Abraham to take his son, his only son, whom he loves, and offer him as a burnt offering. As Abraham and Isaac journey together to make a sacrifice, Isaac asks where the lamb for the offering is. Abraham, in faith, answers, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering."
In Exodus 12, the Lord gives Moses and Aaron instructions for the Passover, that the Israelites might escape the final plague - the deaths of their firstborn sons. The blood of the sacrificed lamb is a sign and a protection for them. Inside their homes, with the blood on the doorposts, they are protected from the Lord's judgement.
In both stories, the firstborn son, the beloved son, is spared; and we are pointed to another firstborn, Beloved Son, who was not spared but who became for us our substitute sacrifice, our Passover Lamb.
March 17, 2019
This week, we read the story of the flood from Genesis chs 7 - 9. In Genesis 7:17, after Noah and the animals went into the ark, "The LORD shut him in." Just as Noah was shut in the ark by God's own hand, and thus survived the flood of God's wrath upon mankind, so we who are in Christ shall be saved to eternal life.
In Romans 6:3–5, Paul writes, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His."
We are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3); by His life, death, and resurrection we are redeemed.
March 10, 2019
Included in this week's readings is Psalm 51, a prayer of confession by King David, composed in response to conviction of his sin. David sees his brokenness, acknowledges his need for cleansing, and desires for God to blot out his sin and restore him to Himself. It is the prayer of a broken and contrite heart, a heart that knows it is stained and that longs for the joy of salvation. This psalm is a guide for our own confession. We, like David, have sinned and done what is evil in the Lord's sight, but we take heart: because of the cross and the empty tomb, we may boldly confess our sin and claim the salvation found in Christ alone.
March 06, 2019
The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, the first of 40 days centered on fasting, prayer, and giving. The ashes are a symbol of death; a reminder that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. The call to repentance is clear; we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We need a Savior.