March 4, 2018

This week’s liturgy is as much about grounding our perspective as it is biblical text. From origins of creation through the Ten Commandments to the Temple in Jesus’ time.


Exodus 20:1-17 – The mid-point of the Lenten journey calls us to check the “original map,” the Ten Commandments. One can select from the list, treat them in their corporate and individual groupings, or develop a sense of the whole. It may be an occasion for considering the commandments as foundational rather than “the last word,” which Christians find in Jesus, the Word made flesh.

 Psalm 19 – What begins as a kind of “creation” psalm shifts to a response to the commandments of the LORD. Despite the psalmist’s belief in the Law’s clarity, he still prays, “But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.” The psalm provides a Lenten “location” from which to examine one’s own recognition of the word of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 – St. Paul leads our thinking to an examination of the wisdom of God over against the wisdom of the world, and how the Jews and Gentiles alike regard as foolishness that which is the very power of God. The preacher could carry forward that examination using today’s gospel or mine the richness of the whole of the gospels.

 John 2:13-22 – In perhaps the most overt direct action of his life, Jesus confronts a corrupt Temple establishment, setting things right. St. John has this near the beginning of the gospel, setting the tone for the pushback that will inevitably follow Jesus throughout his public life. The preacher might examine where it is that people of faith are called to be as vocal as Jesus.