Lent: 4th Sunday

He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it." (Mark 8:12)

Although our sins testify against us,
do something, LORD, for the sake of your name.
For our backsliding is great;
we have sinned against you. (Jeremiah 14:7)

Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:20)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

The themes of the past weeks continue into this week. Lent continues to be a time for us to reflect on our humanity. We are sinful and dependent. But, some of the readings for the week have begun to remind us that God hears us nonetheless. Even in God's wrathfulness and vengeance, which the Scripture is clear to communicate, God does not reject our prayer. In today's readings for example, we see two different sorts of requests. On the one hand we find Jesus denying the request for a sign. He is not into sensationalism (oh that we too would not be into it; the local news would be tons better!). Yet, God hears the requests of a penitent heart. God does not withhold God's love. Christ does not leave us in bondage to sin. He has set us free. And we are moving toward remembrance of the day in which that freedom was obtained. Thanks be to God!

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