The Daily Office | March 6, 2018
Psalms 30, 31
Psalms 32, 33, 34
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: The Third Sunday in Lent
Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our passages today point us to the truth that only God is the source of our salvation and rescue. In times of sorrow, pain, or loss, it can be difficult to believe this and to turn to God. It is much easier to look at the chaos before us with despair. In times of heartbreak, it can be tempting to forget or disbelieve God’s promises to us.
We see in the Old Testament passage that Joseph believed God’s promise that he would take his people out of Egypt and therefore made his descendants swear to take his bones with them when that happened--but it took several hundred years.
When God finally rescues the Israelites, they cry out in despair to him, not trusting that he will deliver them. When the man at the pool sees Jesus, the true living water before him, he is so focused on the healing pool that he fails to recognize the Healer himself is there.
Yet, God rescues the Israelites and heals the cripple, despite their doubt and ignorance. In times of despair, remember God’s promises to you. Pray out the Psalms appointed today, remembering, that through Jesus Christ, we can boldly proclaim
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.