The Daily Office | March 9, 2018
Psalms 44, 45, 46
Psalms 47, 48, 49
Exodus 20:1-21 (20:22-21:36)
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 gospel reading this morning speaks of the people asking Jesus for a sign. First, Jesus, through his divine insight, speaks a truth to the people about themselves: "You are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves." In other words, it's not because what I did was miraculous and you're in awe and wonder, but rather because you got your physical needs provided for - you were hungry and got filled up, that's why you seek me.
Then just a few verses later, the people question Jesus' teaching: "what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?"
Really? Did you not see the loaves and fish feed 5000 people right before this? You were there! You ate it! And you're asking for a sign?
So Jesus foreshadows the great sign to come, his resurrection, and contrasts the bread He gave to the 5000 with the bread of life that is Himself. The first bread filled them only for a day; they came back wanting more out of Jesus. The bread of life, Christ himself, will fill them eternally, will feed their spiritual hunger and need for salvation.
What are you hungry for? Are you hungry to see miracles, to be awed and wondered? Or are you hungry for Jesus himself, to know Him, to be filled with His love and transformed into his image? Which will you seek today? Do you come to Jesus because of what he can do for you, or do you come to Jesus because of what he has already done, and what he can do in you and through you?