Wow! God being angry? I often struggle when contemplating a loving Creator who is capable of such an emotion. Anger is incredibly powerful and tempting to hold on to. But many of us neglect to consider how our own emotions can make us stuck or can make us lash out and crave vengeance.
Who of us can admit we are mad at God, perhaps as our ancestors were when they accused God of leading them out of Egypt to die of thirst in the wilderness? (See Exodus 17:1-7.) What do we do with the anger and resentment we have when we must begin again, or when failing to achieve a goal is entirely our own fault? How do we handle self-directed anger?
The answer can be found in grace: God gives us what we do not deserve. Too often during Lent we fall short of fully understanding God’s gift to us of immeasurable grace—grace that we must offer to others. Grace overwhelms anger and vengeance. Grace makes us vulnerable.
Only when we consider God’s amazing grace can we refocus on God and God’s power. This superb trust in God, this repentance, this new birth comes with the promise that we will never be tempted beyond what we can endure.
This Lenten season, let us accept God’s grace as a gift that will turn what we think are failures into successes. And let us thank God for the gift!
God of grace, how grateful we are for your forgiving love! May we so live in your grace that we move among your people with courageous vulnerability, helping you bring hope out of despair and joy out of sorrow. Amen.
In the midst of Lent, when many might be giving up a certain food that they love, we read about feasting. The focus is not on physical feasting, but on feasting as a metaphor for communing with God. Isaiah describes food and drink that one cannot buy with money, for it comes freely from the Lord. The psalmist describes the state of his soul as being hungry and thirsty. Only meditating on God’s faithfulness nourishes his soul at the deepest level. Physical food is momentary, but spiritual nourishment endures. In First Corinthians, Paul appeals to this imagery. Although the ancients experience this spiritual nourishment, some pursue physical pleasure and stray into idolatry and immorality. Partaking in this nourishment should cause us in turn to produce spiritual fruit, as Jesus admonishes his listeners.
Read Isaiah 55:1-9. When has God’s grace inverted your expectations?
Read Psalm 63:1-8. As you mature in faith, what new questions about God do you ask?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Think of a time you have faced great temptation. How did God help you endure it?
Read Luke 13:1-9. For what do you need to repent?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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