Notes on the Service...
...for March 1, 2015, the Second Sunday in Lent
Gen 17:1-7,15-16; Ps 22:22-30; Rom 4:13-25; Mk 8:31-38
The collect, adapted from a prayer for heretics and schismatics in a Good Friday liturgy from the 7th century, prays for those who have abandoned God's ways, that they may return to the truth who is Jesus Christ.
Last Sunday's Genesis reading was the covenant which God made with all flesh after the flood in Noah's time. Written by the same priestly school, today's reading reports a covenant which God made with a few subjects, Abram and Sarai and their offspring. Both covenants begin with God's emphatic statement of intention to establish a bond; both flood-battered Noah and aged Abram cannot at first speak. Both covenants are accompanied by a physical sign: the first by the rainbow; the second by circumcision (Gen 17:8-14, deleted by the lectionary). This founding act of Jewish history, the covenant with Abram, uses archaic names: El Shaddai, translated as "God Almighty'; Abram "exalted father"; Sarai, "princess." God's changing the names to the more common variants, Abraham and Sarah, indicates his rule over them. The authors interpret Abraham to mean "father of multitudes."
Psalm 22 is a hymn from the second temple. Its first 21 verses are an act of self-revilement, frequently read by Christians in connection with Christ's crucifixion (to which today's Gospel refers) because Christ quoted its opening verse, "...why hast thou forsaken me?" However, the latter part of the Psalm, excerpted today to follow the Genesis reading, praises the Lord for mercies to the people of Jacob, Abraham's grandson, "my [the psalmist's] descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the Lord's forever."
Paul argues that passages in Genesis 15 and 17 (today's first reading) mean that because God covenanted with Abraham centuries before the giving of the Law, their covenant could not have been based on Law, but based on God's grace and Abraham's trust in God's promise. This argument is key to Paul's case that justification is based not on obedience to Torah, but on faith in Christ. Hence, "many nations" including Gentiles can belong to the covenant, i.e. can be children of Abraham and Sarah, insofar as they have faith like Abraham's and Sarah's.
Lent Gospels look forward to Christ's death in various ways. Today's, set just after Peter's confession that Jesus is the messiah (the Gospel for Jan. 18) and the Transfiguration (the Gospel for Feb. 15), shows Jesus beginning to teach that he is the kind of messiah who must suffer. When Peter objects to that novel idea, Jesus rebukes him and insists on his principle of victory through self-sacrifice. Thenceforth, Jesus will teach that he must be killed.
Remembered on March 1 is the patron saint of Wales, David. Few facts are known other than that he was a bishop who established an abbey at Menevia (now called St. David's) in the late 6th century.
- If you would like to help read during the Stations of the Cross services on Wednesdays during Lent, please contact Ron Baldwin or add your name to the sheet in the parish hall.
- Bulletin Ministry: Please let Maryann Presnell or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Bulletin Ministry.
- PhoneTree Ministry: Please let the Bill Smith or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Phone Tree Ministry.
- Wednesday, Lenten meatless/dessertless Pot Luck Supper at 6 PM followed by Stations of the Cross at 7 PM. This will repeat each Wednesday throughout Lent.
If you would like to become a member of the Prayer Chain please talk to Diane Jackson.
This Week's Schedule:
|Sunday|| 8:15 AM
Choir Practice in the Church
|Monday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Tuesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
Pot Luck Supper
Stations of the Cross
|Thursday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|