O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
~Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent, Book of Common Prayer
On this second Sunday in Lent we find Abram (not yet Abraham) deep in conversation with God, and Jesus engaging the Pharisees, hopefully fruitful contexts for preaching.
Way back in Genesis 12, God has promised Abram and Sarai that their descendants will be as numerous as the stars, despite their childless state. With no pregnancy in sight, Abram has declared that he will make his nephew his heir, but God isn't liking this plan, and so he comes to Abram and renews his promise. The story of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah is one of waiting for all good things, and the necessity of patience, among other things. Is it speaking to you in this Lenten season?
Paul's letter to the Philippians offers a note of encouragement for those attempting to lead lives of faith, reminding them that "our citizenship is in heaven." So many of us are in struggling congregations; how might Paul's words embolden encourage us?
Where are the readings leading you this week preachers? Are you in the midst of a Lenten series, or are you following the Narrative Lectionary? Join the discussion and let us know what you're thinking, what you are wondering, where you are feeling stretched or stymied. Everyone is welcome!