The Daily Office | March 8, 2018
Psalms 38, 39, 40
Psalms 41, 42, 43
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.
God’s people have a history of disbelieving him. Sometimes they may believe that he is all powerful but does not care or they may believe that he is caring but not all powerful. The Israelites complain in the wilderness, believing that God does not care about them and that he has brought them out of Egypt just to let them die. They whine and complain; they have hard hearts.
Lest we think that this was only an Old Testament issue, we have John 6 where those closest to Jesus still don’t get it. They complain, wondering how all of these people will eat, forgetting that God is standing right before them. They may think he cares but they don’t believe that he has power.
Yet, God waits to be merciful to us, even in our doubting. Jesus, all powerful, walks on water, a thing of chaos and terror in ancient times. But he walks towards the disciples, and lets them know that he cares, speaking tenderly, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
Where are you doubting? Do you know God’s immeasurable love for you? Do you believe that he really has conquered sin, death, and the devil? Today, do not harden your heart but remember that Jesus Christ has come in power and mercy to rescue you and to give you rest.