12 Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that none of you have an evil, unfaithful heart that abandons the living God. 13 Instead, encourage each other every day, as long as it’s called “today,” so that none of you become insensitive to God because of sin’s deception. 14 We are partners with Christ, but only if we hold on to the confidence we had in the beginning until the end.
15 When it says,
Today, if you hear his voice, don’t have stubborn hearts
as they did in the rebellion.
16 Who was it who rebelled when they heard his voice? Wasn’t it all of those who were brought out of Egypt by Moses? 17 And with whom was God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it with the ones who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And against whom did he swear that they would never enter his rest, if not against the ones who were disobedient? 19 We see that they couldn’t enter because of their lack of faith.
Hebrews 3: 12-19 (CEB)
I often think of Lent as a time of slumber and turning inward. The season starts to shift, but winter is still upon us with its grey skies and dark, chilly mornings…the kind of mornings that are perfectly suited to the contemplative prayer practice that I’ve journeyed with throughout the Lenten season. I’m not sure about you, but fasting during Lent has never satisfied my spiritual hunger. Instead, most Lenten seasons, I try to explore a different spiritual practice- centering prayer, Lectio Divina, journaling, yoga. Through these practices, I try to engage the Divine and deepen my relationship with Christ. Those chilly, grey winter mornings are often the perfect time for me to engage in these practices, still my wandering mind, turn my heart to God in prayer, and look ahead to awakening on Easter morning.
However, today’s text does not provide for an opportunity to still one’s mind, or to wake up slowly in contemplative prayer… it’s all about a change of pace with action and urgency. For the writer of Hebrews, today is the day.
Today is the day to encourage one’s sisters and brothers in Christ. Perhaps this means that you’ll care for a friend or family member in need, or be present to someone who may be lonely? Or maybe today, you will pray for your church family, the Church at large and the world.
Today is the day to turn away from sin and towards Christ. Will you confess your faults and failings and seek Christ’s healing and restorative forgiveness?
Today is the day, to listen for Christ’s call amidst all the chaos. Can you look for Christ’s presence in the news headlines or in the calm of the storm? Can you respond to Christ’s call of discipleship?
Indeed, today is not a day for slumber, but a day for action! The writer brings in words from the 95th Psalm, and together these texts speak of an urgency to embody one’s faith and deepen one’s relationship with God. And isn’t this what our Lenten journeys are all about? Rather than a time of slumber, we’ve actively journeyed towards the living God through these past few weeks. We’ve sought to draw nearer to God, and in so doing, to have our perspectives toward the world and our actions within it shaped by our faith. Indeed, we have become partners with Christ to live lives of love in a world that so desperately needs to be awakened from its slumber of brokenness. So, friends, wake up! What are going to do today?
Creator and creating God, turn our hearts toward you. Enable us to encourage and care for one another, and remind us that we do not journey alone. Today is the day that you have created and call us to live into. Guide us to partner with you and live lives of love in a fractured and broken world. To you, Three in One, we pray. Amen.
Middle Level, M. Div./ M.A.C.E.
Rosy is passionate about creating spaces where people can come together and build relationships, whether that’s worshipping together in a pew or over a basket of tacos at a local eatery. Rosy feels called to parish ministry and is looking forward to discerning how bonds between church and community can be forged and strengthened.