Today is Sunday the 18 February, in the Season of Lent
Centering Prayer: Sit quietly for a couple of minutes and ask God to be with you in this time of prayer and meditation as you seek to encounter him genuinely. Use the words of Samuel as a breath prayer as you gently breathe in and out and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant your name is listening (1 Samuel 3:10).
Try the Lectio Divina Method to hear from God through scripture
- First Reading: Your first reading is an opportunity to get to know the scripture passage. Make note of words or phrases that catch your attention. Read the passage again, aloud.
- Second Reading: Focus further on the words or phrases that caught your attention. Where is God nudging you?
- Third Reading: Respond by recording your thoughts by journaling so you will remember what you’ve learned.
- Fourth Reading: Sit in silence for five minutes and allow God’s Spirit to work in you.
Today’s scripture reading is from the Gospel of Mark 1:9-15 (NRSV)
1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
1:10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens were torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
1:11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you, I am well pleased.”
1:12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.
1:13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels waited on him.
1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Reflection: John the Baptist’s arrest, according to the gospel of Mark, initiated Jesus’ public ministry (verse 14). The message of Jesus, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news,” is a message of hope to a people that were unsure – lacking in faith – of God’s love and protection.
Questions for Reflection:
- Are you a person of trust and hope in God’s goodness and care?
- Is your hopefulness in God’s goodness and care powerful enough to compel you to step forward as a messenger of hope in your congregation and larger community for the sake of others and the glory of God?
Prayer Focus: Those who struggle to heed the call to step forward with God.
Concluding Prayer (Repeat 3 times) Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Gloria Patri: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.