Collect and Readings for Sunday 7th March 2021 – Private Prayer at All Saints, Marthall 9:30am. The Third Sunday of Lent
Readings: Exodus 20.1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1.18-25, John 2.13-22The Prayer for today
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
What do you make of our readings for today? If you think about the Gospel reading and imagine that you are in the temple going about your usual business. Perhaps you are exchanging money with the money changers so that you can buy a dove to offer as a sacrifice in line with customs. All perfectly normal stuff in those times. These traditions and practices showed clever marketing ploys which helped to bring people to the temple and enabled worship to flourish. Of course there were some poor practices – a bit of petty corruption but nothing more than people had come to expect. I am sure that we have all encountered things that weren’t quite right but decided it wasn’t really worth the effort and aggravation to make a fuss to get things changed.
But that isn’t how Jesus sees it. Jesus’ life is one of obedience; an obedience which comes from attentive listening to his heavenly Father. It is this that urged him to tackle things which weren’t right and to work towards his ultimate purpose here on earth, his death on the cross and resurrection, which restored the relationship between God and His people. Jesus drew strength to do the right thing through prayer and trust in His Father, can we do the same?
Our reading from Exodus gives us details of God’s rules, the Ten Commandments. Jesus summarised these rules for us, ‘Love God’ and ‘Love each other’. What could be simpler? It’s easy to remember but why do we find it so hard to do? Often it is because what we should do isn’t easy or what we want to do. Therefore we struggle to be obedient to what God wants us to do and rebel. Jesus understood why it was important that he was obedient to his Father. If we understand the reason for being obedient, we are more likely to try to do what we are told. Just like in our families, when we tell children to do something, they often find reasons why they shouldn’t do what they are being asked to do. Obedience is all to do with acting out of love. As we get to understand and love God better, we will find that we are more eager to do what he wants us to do.
Things to do and think about:
God bless and stay safe and well
Rev’d Fiona Robinson