The work of repentance can seem burdensome, but its true aim is joy. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not go to Montgomery, Alabama, to lead the civil rights movement. A graduate student who had not yet completed his Ph.D. dissertation, King took a pastorate where he could preach on Sundays,...

Make us willing, merciful God, to pursue the joy that comes on the other side of repentance. Amen.


2 Comments
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
March 11–17, 2024
Scripture Overview

We can maintain outward appearances for only so long. At some point what is in our hearts will come to the surface. God understands this, of course, which is the reason for the promise in Jeremiah. God promises a day when God’s law will no longer be an external standard that we are trying to follow but will be written on our hearts. In the aftermath of his sin with Bathsheba, David cries out in Psalm 51 for God’s forgiveness and a new heart. The New Testament readings begin to focus our minds toward the end of Jesus’ life. God’s transformative work comes at a cost to God through the death of his Son, who suffered in obedience but through his death was glorified.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. What are the covenant relationships in your life? How do you fulfill your part of the covenant with God?
Read Psalm 51:1-12. What are the things that clutter your heart, limiting your availability to fully love?
Read Hebrews 5:5-10. When have you offered your prayers “with loud cries and tears” as Jesus did? How does knowing Jesus’ vulnerability impact your life of faith?
Read John 12:20-33. How does this example of the grain of wheat help you to understand Jesus’ crucifixion and death?

Respond by posting a prayer.