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Lent Readings

Readings Begin February 18

Daily Lent Readings

"He is risen, indeed!" Lent has passed but that doesn't mean the daily readings have to go away. Some of you might be discovering this page for the first time. Others who participated during Lent might find it helpful to revisit a particular reading. For these reasons, we will leave this page up for a while.
We pray that you experience the wonder of interacting with our Savior in a personal, transformative way!
All the readings are also available via podcast on Apple or Spotify. Click here for more information.
"A New Light Shining" painting by Youngsung Kim from Havenlight
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Day 7

The Son Does What He Sees His Father Doing

Imagine standing with Jesus, right next to him, in prayer to his Father. Read this passage of praise aloud. As you do so, consider that you are praying along with Jesus, your two voices becoming one as you bless God.  

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and all that is within me,
   bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity
   who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit,
   who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)
Psalm 103:6-14, 17-18
The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
   his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
   nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
   nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
   so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
   so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
   he remembers that we are dust. . . .
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting 
   to everlasting on those who fear him,
   and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
   and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
   and his kingdom rules over all.
What Is This Psalm About?   
Each day we’ve been praying the first five verses of Psalm 103. Both for ourselves and with Jesus, we’ve been offering these essential praises to God for his character and gracious acts. Today we take up the main section of this psalm. David extols the LORD for his faithfulness to his people through the centuries. The history of God’s saving mercy witnesses to his eternal character of mercy and steadfast love. David notes in particular God’s compassion towards us in both our mortal frailty and our native sinfulness.
What Might This Psalm Have Meant to Jesus?
Verse 7 harks back to the early days of God’s people when the LORD “made known his ways to Moses.” God had revealed his sacred name to Moses (Exodus 3:14) and had given his commandments to (Exodus 20) and established his covenant with the people he freed from slavery (Exodus 24:8). However, in Exodus 33:18, Moses asked for even more! He wanted to see for himself the glory of the LORD. God agreed to show Moses his glorious goodness but only indirectly as he passed by. In that awesome moment, the LORD self-declared, “The LORD, the LORD, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” words that would be echoed in Israel’s prayers through the centuries (Exodus 34:6). 
As Jesus prays this psalm, he affirms and articulates these fundamental characteristics of the LORD. Yet, while the great Moses was only granted a “back” view of God’s glory, Jesus would declare that he knew God so intimately, he saw him. 
To Jesus, these praises of the LORD I AM are apt descriptions of the God he knows intimately as his heavenly Father. As Jesus grows in knowledge of the Scriptures, in prayer and worship and in the doing of the LORD’s will, Jesus becomes more and more aware of his unique relationship to the God of Israel. In John’s gospel, we see how closely connected are Jesus’ words and actions to what he perceives of his Father when he says, “The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing” (John 5:19-20).
The Son imitates his Father, so Psalm 103’s descriptions of the LORD also depict Jesus’ essential personality and reveal his motivation and mission. Jesus internalizes his Father’s heart and then expresses it in the world. In so doing, Jesus understands and willingly receives his marching orders for ministry. He who delights to do his Father’s will demonstrates in our physical world what he uniquely perceives in the heavenly realm. Jesus enacts his Father’s heart to be “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” and mercy.
Having a true human body himself, he shows tender regard for our mortal frames. As a father has compassion for his children, Jesus too shows compassion to us in all our brokenness and infirmity. In the Gospels, the Greek word translated as “compassion” is only used to describe Jesus himself or by Jesus in talking about his Father. Jesus ever acts from this emotional, empathetic, heart-reaching love. This is a God-like quality. 
Throughout his ministry, Jesus takes up his Father’s place in forgiving sins. He declares such mercy throughout his ministry. Then, through his love of obedience, even unto death on the cross, Jesus atones for sin. He removes our sins “as far as the east is from the west”—an infinite distance!
Praying with Jesus
Bless the LORD O my soul!
I rejoice with you, Jesus, to declare with you
That your Father’s love is from everlasting to everlasting.
His steadfast love endures forever.
Great is such faithfulness.
And you, Lord Jesus, are the spitting image of your Father.
You came to speak his love in a unique, precious tone of voice.
You came to stretch forth his healing hand, 
You came to display the strength of his mighty arm
In subduing evil and liberating the captive, the possessed and afflicted.
As a father shows compassion, so you showed the compassion
Of your heavenly Father to me!
All in the power of the Spirit with which he anointed you.
Praising your Father with you, the Son, 
So moved by the Holy Spirit,
In this moment I know myself lifted up by the Trinity
Into the Trinity.
I am enfolded in triune love 
And given a voice to bless you before heaven and earth.
Posted in: Lent