Wednesday, 13 February 2013

on giving things up for Lent

Lent offers a precious opportunity to reflect on our attitude to ‘things’ – both those we have, and those we lack. In 1 Timothy 6.6-19, Paul is warning Timothy to beware of greed in all its forms: the greed that manifests itself as a ‘morbid craving’ for controversy (v.4), or as a love of money which is ‘a root of all kinds of evil’ (v.10). Even the pursuit of godliness can become a twisted form of greed (v.5). The way forward, says Paul, is to pursue godliness with contentment (v.6), a quality conspicuously missing from our grasping human behaviour.

How content are we with what we have? Whether or not we choose to give something up, this season offers us an opportunity – with the guidance of the Holy Spirit – to examine our own tendency to greed and acquisitiveness, and to seek God’s healing and transformation.

Barbara Mosse, in Reflections for Daily Prayer 2013 (Church House Publishing)

something for desert days

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

Isaiah 35.1-7