Monday, March 06, 2006

Sunday 12 March 2006, 2nd Sunday in Lent

The readings for Sunday, the 2nd Sunday in Lent are:
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38

I'll also be considering Psalm 22:22-30

The theme that immediately jumps out from the Gospel is that of sacrifice. My initial study will revolve around the concept of sacrifice.

I think of Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego in the book of Daniel. The were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. They refused to worship the king. Even when threatened with death, they refused to compromise.

Certainly anyone would understand a decision to compromise in such circumstances! They could have worshipped the king with their mouths only. Their hearts would have been far from worshipping the king. Anyone who knew them would have known that their worship of the king was insincere and they would've avoided the death penalty with such empty words.

But their faith encouraged them to make a foolish decision. They refused to bend. They refused to compromise.

The king was so furious that he had the oven fired twice as hot as normal before throwing in Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego. It was so hot the guards throwing them in were killed by the heat outside the oven!

God miraculously saved them. Inside the fire was an additional person--an angel. And God preserved them from the flames.

The temptation to compromise our faith comes in many forms. What is the tempation in your life?

Next I'll look at the value of faith as evidenced by Abraham. For faith is the answer to the tempation to compromise!

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