Blessings to you on the first Sunday in Lent and the next to last Sunday in February. This week was a little different than last week, while it was cold this week it wasn’t raining and the winter weather impacts of last week are starting to abate. But things were a little non-plussed in the Parish Hall – the heating wasn’t quite up to snuff (it topped out at 54 degrees by service end). But we plugged through and followed service with a good coffee hour. We will have a midday offering on Wednesday if anyone would like to join let me know.
In worship we began our Lenten journey in earnest. Our collect reminded us that we will be tempted and that no one is precluded from at least one weakness. Yet, if we remember God’s promises we will find our path to eternal life with God, maybe with a scar or two but eternal life. Our Psalmist offered a reminder that God is merciful and steadfast even when it seems like God has left us behind. We are reminded that God’s compassion is unlimited and that everyone who turns to God will find God. The Epistle reading from 1st Peter served the reminder that the action of Christ, his temptation, life, death, and resurrection were sufficient for all creation to be restored to relationship with God. That is and was part of God’s plan for our restoration. If we live with Christ as our guide we will receive Christ’s benefits too. The gospel was from Mark and reminded us that Jesus was baptized by John and then was tempted by the devil. In these two acts we see God Incarnate sacrificing their divinity to return and restore humanity with God.
The sermon today tried to focus on the reading from Genesis, the covenant created between God and Noah after the flood. While the covenant is a blessing we need to remember that the covenant comes following the sins and punishment of creation. Yet, we are reminded that God will be present and offer signs and reminders to help us remember our place with God. The covenant should help us remember that what is yet to come is secured (in Christ) and the trials of this present moment are not the end but are part of our life. We cannot have one without the other.
I invite your comments,
Readings: Genesis 9:8-17 ; Psalm 25:1-9; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15
Video of worship: https://youtu.be/VM5PBfIqAPU