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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!
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"A New Light Shining" painting by Youngsung Kim from Havenlight
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Day 36


Christopher Powers. Hebrews 9:14. 2022.
Jesus’ mission did not end on Easter Sunday. After rising, he had yet to return to heaven to be seated in authority at the Father’s right hand. The ascension marks the completion of his earthly ministry but not the end of Jesus’ activity for us. He is our advocate at the throne. He prays for us even now! And he pours out his Spirit upon his disciples to empower us for our mission as his witnesses.
What’s more, Jesus did not shed our humanity in his return to heaven. He keeps it. Forever. He has taken humanity where we had never been, could never go—into the very presence of God. Jesus the man is our surety. He is our pledge that one day we too will join him in resurrected bodies, rejoicing in communion with the triune God.
Commenting on his vivid rendering presented here, Christopher Powers explains, “I tried to show Jesus’ death as simultaneously historical and eternal. . . . I’ve depicted Jesus Christ in the act of offering Himself to the Father. The banner of history begins and ends with His nail-pierced hands as a way of showing that the eternally slain and risen Jesus is the beginning and end, the first and the last, the all-defining principle of created reality. And, to emphasize that not only His death but also His resurrection exist eternally through the Spirit, I’ve depicted the open mouth of the tomb behind Jesus’ head, also ‘outside’ of time.”
The King's Desire
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 2:7
I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
   today I have begotten you.
Psalm 21:1-7  
? O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
   and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire
   and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
   you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
   length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation;
   splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever;
   you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the LORD,
   and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
What Is This Psalm About? 
On this day the church hails the entry of the King into Jerusalem his holy city. So it’s fitting that we pray one of the royal psalms. These songs celebrate the gift that the LORD gave to his people—a king on the throne to bless the nation by ruling in faithfulness, order and justice. In this psalm, the people pray God’s favor on the ruler, extolling the king who leads the people in relying wholly on the LORD. Beginning with David, the king was especially considered to be God’s son. This theme in the royal psalms sets them up to preview our true King, the unique Son of God, Jesus. 
What Might This Psalm Have Meant to Jesus?
During the forty days from Easter to his ascension, Jesus appears frequently to his disciples. Luke tells us that “he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” including “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:27, 44). He enjoys fellowship with them (Acts 1:4), savoring these brief days after his trials and before their mission begins.
We can learn how Jesus explained how the Scriptures connected to him by looking at what his disciples have written. They get their teaching from him! Psalm 2 appears in Paul’s message in Antioch:
“And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, 
‘You are my Son, 
today I have begotten you.’ 
And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, 
‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’” (Acts 13:32-34)
I can well imagine Jesus praying these royal psalms. He sings Psalm 21 with joy that his kingship has been established. Paul writes of Jesus as “descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:3-4). The resurrection was a death-shattering event powered by God the Holy Spirit. Paul is also saying that the resurrection was a declarative event in that the Father vindicated his unjustly condemned Son. Jesus the carpenter’s son can now be proclaimed as the Lord of death and life, the name above all names. The long-awaited heir of David now begins to rule over heaven and earth.
I can hear Jesus rejoicing as the King, “You have given him his heart’s desire.” In the first place, he means, of course, being restored to fellowship with his Father because his death included the dreadful God-forsakenness: “He asked for life, and you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.” 
But what else might be included in his heart’s desire? At the last supper, Jesus told his disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled. . . . I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:1-2). Later that night, in his mighty prayer for his disciples, we see that Jesus truly wants them with him in eternity: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). Jesus’ great passion is that he can bring together his Father and his disciples. He yearns for all those who belong to him to be taken into the love he has shared with his Father from all eternity. He came precisely to gather us. The glory of his triumph is the sharing of intimate fellowship. His resurrection has established the grounds of union with us. In the future, that communion will be fully realized in his Kingdom. 
No wonder Scripture speaks about what’s coming as a wedding: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). The King’s desire is for his bride to be with him at last!
Praying with the Father and the Spirit
King Jesus, the resurrection secured your throne.
You defeated death, sin and the devil.
Your cross of shame has become
Your scepter of everlasting rule!
Your Father has granted your desire,
And I rejoice along with you.
For as you reign, we all flourish.
As I bow the knee of my heart
To your will, life re-centers.
I see what matters.
You desire that your people be one.
One in faith, consecration and service.
You call your bride, the church, to fidelity.
You bring us with you to the Father,
Presenting us dressed in your holiness,
For you adorn us with a gown
Washed thoroughly in your blood 
Until it shines in unstained purity.
I admire and adore you O risen King,
And I will boast of you to others,
For I am proud of you, humble Sovereign.
You have done great things.
You took your thorns and wear them as a crown,
You display your wounds for all to see,
The magnificent defeat that wins the day.
I rejoice in your desire to share your glory
With us, sweeping us into the love of 
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 


Posted in: Lent