Monday, February 25, 2008
Third Week of Lent
As I have expressed before in this blog, Lent is one of my favorite seasons. (Above is my Lenten Rule that I have pinned on the wall right in front of my desk.) Thus far, I am learning a great deal through both my Lenten study of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters and also through all of the Scripture I am reading with the Bible Book Club (see link under Blogs of Interest) and daily Scripture readings from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. God is inspiring me to be more constant in prayer and more dedicated to His Word. And He is chipping away at my weak points: my self-sufficient spirit and my pride in intellect. And the fasting is going well also as I am learning to pray rather than eat what is unhealthy for me.
I pray that the changes God is effecting in me will not fade after Lent but will instead become ingrained habits that will bring Him glory. It certainly isn't ME at work here; all I am doing is cooperating with His Spirit at work in me. That's the sheer beauty of Lent and why I value it so deeply in my Christian pilgrimage.
The Collect (prayer to be prayed collectively not only by a congregation but by all Anglicans using the 1928 BCP across the world):
We beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence [sic] against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle reading is from the fifth chapter of St. Paul's Letter to the Church at Ephesus, and the Gospel reading is from the eleventh chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, starting at the fourteenth verse. Following are a few verses from these readings for our encouragement and inspiration:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given ourselves for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
"... [B]lessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
I wish you all a blessed and holy Lent as we dedicate ourselves wholly and completely to the Lord in preparation for the Resurrection.