Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent: Year 1
Morning Psalm 119:97 to120; Evening Psalms 81 and 82;
Jeremiah 8:18 to 9:6; Romans 5:1 to11; John 8:12 to 20
“We also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3 to 5)
I imagine suffering but not dying does lead to some kind of endurance. I mean we have all been in tight spots. Sometimes it gets down to actually watching the secondhand of a clock tick by and saying to yourself, I got through that second; after second, after second, over and over again. This is the very basics of endurance.
I suppose there is a certain amount of maturation that comes with “getting through” difficult times. Such maturation morphs into character. And somewhere in our character is hope. I know that I hope a lot. Paul will come to say that we hope for what is not seen. We don’t know how God will act in our lives. God is always so full of surprises. The two biggest surprises that I like to recall is the parting of the sea so that the Israelites could escape capture; and, the birth of our Lord Jesus, the Savior of the world. But before these surprising acts of God happened, there was a tremendous amount of hope. This hope was in a people who were oppressed, be it escaping slaves or occupied Palestinian Jews by Rome. For all of these, and like us today, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
I find it amazing that these words about God’s love being, “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,” appear today in our reading. Our Women’s Bible Study has been moved to Wednesdays since my retirement and these words of Noon Day Prayers are always prayed at our opening service. The surprise is that these words are appointed for today, the day of the week that I will meet with our faithful group. God is still full of surprises, great and small. Thank You Lord Jesus.
I ask you who read these words, to please try and be aware of the places where God is acting, even in very small ways in your life, because, in fact God is. I tell people all the time that I can’t always see where God is, in my life, but in reflective pondering, I can always see where God was, and has acted in my life. And I am thankful.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John