Sat, 20 February 2021
O blessed reformer of the Church
who by a holy austerity
cleansed your soul
of the corruption of this world
and served by example
to lead others to a religious life –
teach us this day
of the chastising hand of God
and the suffering which leads
that in the will of the Lord
we might all be purged
of our dross
and come to the kingdom of Heaven.
Pray that we, too, might realize
and so benefit from
the blessing upon us
when our souls are lashed
that threaten sorrow,
for He does but wish to lift us
from the sinfulness of this passing earth
to the consolation of His presence.
Sat, 20 February 2021
(Gn.9:8-15; Ps.25:4-9; 1Pt.3:18-22; Mk.1:12-15)
“I set my bow in the clouds
to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
In times past God made a covenant with Noah and his sons once they had come from the ark “that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings,” that they and those who would descend from them, indeed all races of men, should experience such devastation no more. And the sign of the rainbow He has given “for all ages to come,” that His covenant shall not be forgotten.
This promise is a reassuring one, even if not by water but by fire we know this earth shall yet be destroyed. But a greater promise than this certainly we have, one for which this covenant is but a shadow. For now we have “Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.” Through His resurrection from the dead He now shines in the firmament more brightly than any rainbow, and indeed in Him all races of men meet again and find their hope, not only that they shall not be destroyed from the earth, but that they shall know everlasting salvation in heaven. Even “the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient when God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark,” have this word preached to them.
“The kingdom of God is at hand.” Yes, the salvation of the Lord has been set firmly in our hearts, even as the rainbow God set in the heavens. He has remembered His “love” and “compassion” which “are from of old” and in His “goodness” has fulfilled them in His only Son. Though Jesus has had to suffer death for our sakes, yet death is remembered no more as we gaze upon His resurrected form – as the bow after the rain, so does His glory shine after the death of this flesh. And though the flood “prefigured Baptism,” yet Baptism in the name of the Lord and into His death and resurrection is so much more, for “it is not a removal of dust from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience” with which we are blessed now.
And so, brothers and sisters, let us find the “life in the Spirit” to which our Savior, come from the desert of our sin, now leads us. Let us fix our eyes upon His resurrection glory, even as we experience the death of the body.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Miracle" (second half) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let your kindness and compassion
be fulfilled in our midst this day;
let us turn from our sins to walk with Jesus
on the way to you.
YHWH, your Son has come to suffer and die and be raised to new life that we might be led from our sinful state to union with you in Heaven. Truly, your kingdom has walked among us in the Person of Jesus; truly, your kingdom is now at hand. Like a bow in the clouds is His resurrection from the dead – let us keep our eyes fixed on Him that truly we shall enter your reign.
You are of compassion, LORD, and your love is from of old. It is this love you would share with the humble, and so you call us to follow in your ways. By repentance we shall come to you, and that we might receive this grace your Son cries out to our souls. Let us follow Him on the way of the Cross that the new day shall be ours.
Your promise of eternal life is our treasure, LORD, our hope in a fallen world. And you are faithful to your promise – in Jesus we shall never be destroyed.