Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

by David Lehmann

abstract art

When I read the three scriptures for today, three questions jumped off the page.

From Exodus 32:7-14: The Lord said to Moses: I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. I immediately thought: what does “stiff-necked” mean, and am I ever stiff-necked? Words like “haughty” and “rigid” come to mind. Not me, right?! But do I often find myself looking at someone on the subway and thinking: Why doesn’t she lose some weight? What was he thinking with that hairdo? And break from my routine or change my plans? Not easily.

From John 5:30-47: You do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe in him whom he has sent. What does it mean to have the Father’s word abiding in me? During the Christmas season when I am writing this reflection, this question is especially relevant. For the Christmas story as told by Father Ed on Christmas Eve, I want to believe that Christ was born to the Virgin Mary with God as his Father. And through him, we are now Children of God. I try to remind myself daily that I am God’s Beloved.

From Psalm 106:6-7,19-23: Israel made a bull-calf at Horeb and worshiped a molten image. What are my idols? Just when I am meditating on God’s will for my life I find my thoughts straying to what will I wear today and what will I eat for lunch. Are food, clothing and other material things more of an idol than my love of God and others?

I welcome the Lenten season as a time to ponder the scriptures and seek answers to the questions they always bring. I also look forward to reading the personal reflections of my fellow devotionalists. After more than 35 years I still find Ascension the perfect place to explore my faith and grow closer to Christ.