Saturday of Lent 2, March 23, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
This week our journey through the Litany of Penitence has taken us through the following sections:
We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ.
We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
Have mercy on us, Lord.
We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,
We confess to you, Lord.
Living into our baptism looks like being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit through our lives together so that we begin taking on the shape of Jesus’s life and ministry.
Monday of Lent 2: In our baptism, we are anointed and empowered for service to others. Just as Jesus Christ came to serve, God the Father has prepared good works for us to do and the Spirit gives us gifts to complete these works. Grieving the Spirit looks like ignoring these opportunities to serve others or using the gifts the Spirit has given to us for our own advancement.
Tuesday of Lent 2: The mind of Christ is demonstrated to us through his tenderness and compassion toward us. He became what we are so that he could live among us, show us how to live in harmony with others and God without grumbling or arguing, and serve us through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. When we resist the Spirit’s work to conform us to the mind of Christ, we grieve the Holy Spirit.
Wednesday of Lent 2: Our faithful God calls us and empowers us for faithful living through our baptism. This idea of faithfulness is another way of talking about having the mind of Christ. One mark of being conformed to the mind of Christ is to put aside the form of pride that is a perversion of healthy self-love. We are called to remember that our relationships, gifts, talents, and skills are from God for joyful service so that we can live as faithful people.
Thursday of Lent 2: A second mark of faithful living through our baptism is a life that is not marred by hypocrisy. Through the incarnation, the Son became everything that is essential to being human – he became one of us, but one of us without sin. Jesus’s sinless life was a life of authenticity that did not hold some people to different moral standards than others. One way of describing a life that is without hypocrisy is to speak of respecting the dignity of every human being and striving for peace and justice for everyone.
Friday of Lent 2: A third mark of faithful living through our baptism is a life that is characterized by patience. Impatience, wanting things according to our schedule and preferences, is not the way that God treats creation or us. Patience is a gift, an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit. Part of respecting the dignity of every person is living patiently.
In what ways have we not demonstrated the mind of Christ being formed within us?
When have we turned away from opportunities to serve?
When has our life and service been more shaped by pride, hypocrisy, impatience than faithful service that is humble, authentic, and patient?
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives an reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect for Ash Wednesday)