Day 339 | Sunday, 21 February 2021
The assigned scripture readings for this the first Sunday in Lent are Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22 and Mark 1:9-15.
Mark 1:9-15 Jesus is baptized and tempted CEB 9 About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. 11 And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” 12 At once the Spirit forced Jesus out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among the wild animals, and the angels took care of him. 14 After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, 15 saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”
9 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God's Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. 11 Along with the Spirit, a voice: "You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life." 12 At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. 13 For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by Satan. Wild animals were his companions, and angels took care of him. 14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: 15 "Time's up! God's kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message."
The Hymn that goes along with this scripture is “Lord, Who Throughout these Forty Days”, words by Claudia F. Hernaman, 1873.
1. “Lord, who throughout these forty days for us didst fast and pray, teach us with thee to mourn our sins and close by thee to stay.”
2. “As thou with Satan didst contend, and dist the victory win, O give us strength in the to fight in thee to conquer sin.”
3. “As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst, so teach us, gracious Lord, to die to self, and chiefly live by thy most holy word.”
4. “And through these days of penitence, and through thy passiontide, yes, evermore in life and death, Jesus, with us abide.”
5. “Abide with us, that so, this life of suffering over past, an Easter of unending joy we may attain at last.”
“Claudia Frances Ibotson Hernaman’s hymn, “Lord, who throughout these forty days,” signals the beginning of Lent and is often sung during Ash Wednesday services or throughout the season of Lent. Forty is a number with special biblical significance. It rained for forty days and nights when the earth was overtaken by floodwaters, and Noah waited another forty days before opening the window of the Ark. Israel wandered in the desert for forty years. Jesus was seen on earth following the resurrection for forty days. In this case, Christ’s forty days in the wilderness provides the primary paradigm for the forty days of Lent.”
“As is the case with many hymns, Christ’s life becomes a model for how his followers should confront temptation. The first two lines of the stanzas focus on a response of Christ when he faced temptation; the last two lines encourage Christians to model their behavior on Christ’s example. This is a familiar pattern for children’s hymns from the days of Isaac Watts. It obviously strikes a chord with adult believers as well.” By C. Michael Hawn
God journey with us these days of Lent and help us to make this year a very meaningful journey. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen