1 min read
04 Mar

Thanks for joining me, this week we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Often times when we study Scripture, we may study a word, or meditate on a verse or story from the text. However, sometimes we need to zoom out and look at the purpose of an entire book of Scripture instead of one verse or chapter. We can look at the whole of a person’s life instead of just one of the events of their life. Zooming out is how I looked at this week’s prayer as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

In the Who phrase of the prayer, we are reminded that in a wonderful way, namely, the Incarnation of Jesus, God reconciled the human race to Himself. To reconcile means to reinstate, or reunite.

Biblical scholars estimate that 4,000 years passed between Adam and Eve and Jesus. Four thousand years of being separated from God. I find it difficult to even fathom how long 4,000 years can be, and yet, the prophets in the Old Testament never lost hope of waiting for a Savior.

In the prayer we ask that with prompt devotion and eager faith, we may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. The solemn celebrations in the prayer are not sad. In the Latin form of the prayer, we find the word sollemnia, which means sacred.

Devotion is our personal investment and faith is our total investment. Our devotion and faith mean that we are all in, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and even our body. It should make us appreciate the love that God has for us because Jesus is the example for us when it comes to devotion and faith. His complete all-in love is evident on the cross.

When we add in the adjectives, prompt and eager, and when we ask God that we would hasten, we are a people in motion, which is true of the Christian life. If we are stagnant or standing still, we cannot move forward or grow and God's people have been moving forward since the beginning of time.

Just imagine a timeline that spans 6,000 years. It includes the estimated 4,000 years between Adam and Eve and Jesus, and the approximate 2,000 years between Jesus and us today. On the timeline we see the Garden of Eden, the Flood, Abraham, Moses, David, and all the prophets, including John the Baptist. The first two-thirds of this timeline indicate that humankind is living separated from God. Then suddenly, there is a strange event. A child is born, but not just any child. With the birth of this child, the world changed. The savior of humankind is born and we now have access to God.

It is good to think about Jesus and what he did, however with this prayer, I meditated on Jesus and who He is. God came to earth and the world has never been the same.

Many years ago, I heard a song titled Welcome to Our World by Chris Rice, and I’ve never forgotten the lyrics:
Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born.

This week, Laudate Sunday, we celebrate with joy. Our Lenten practices are nearing an end. With ready (prompta in Latin) devotion and excited (alacri in Latin) faith, we look forward to celebrate the sacred day that God did what only He could do, He reconciled us to Himself.

Thanks for praying with me,

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