Saturday of Lent 5, April 13, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
This week, we have completed confessing our wrongs and asking God to accept our repentance and now turn to ask for restoration:
For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors,
and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
For our waste and pollution of your creation,
and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
Monday of Lent 5: God created all of humanity with one nature and spirit yet with incredible diversity. In this world of diverse ways of thinking, speaking, and organizing societies, we too often choose the path of making distinctions rather than learning from difference.
Tuesday of Lent 5: God’s creation reveals the divine life and we were given the role of husbandry over the earth. Yet rather than seeing ourselves as God’s image-bearers in the world, co-creators with God who have been given the responsibility to lovingly tend to the earth and its creatures as revelatory of the divine life, we have bought into our society’s understanding of nature as something to be exploited.
Wednesday of Lent 5: In our society’s emphasis upon instant gratification, we have become a single use, throw-away society. Our economy has become focused on profit margins, capital gains, and dividends rather than recognizing our role as those who tend to creation on behalf of God, working to preserve, conserve, and prepare the world for future generations.
Thursday of Lent 5: Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, restores God’s image in us through our baptism and in our weekly participation in the eucharist. Our eucharistic participation in the divine life nourishes and restores us as the Body of Christ. Our common worship life gives us a vision of reality that we are called to work out in the world; God’s anger might be best seen as impatience with our blindness.
Friday of Lent 5: The work of salvation is restoring unity between Creator and creation; we participate in this restored unity through our baptism, the eucharist, and our ongoing living into this transformative participation in the divine life.
The purpose of our salvation is to show forth God’s glory in the world. By living into our baptism, nourished regularly by the eucharist, we, as the Body of Christ, are called to participate in God’s redemption of the world. We don’t participate in our own strength, but through God’s sharing of the divine life with us through these sacraments. But our culture continually strives to undo and distract us from our calling and purpose.
Our corporate worship life is meant to take the created order into the divine life. Have we shortchanged the world by focusing too much on individual salvation and “getting into heaven” rather than being the glorious Body of Christ in the world?
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 and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect for Ash Wednesday)