Tuesday: Reflection on the First Sunday in Lent

Tuesday: Reflection on the First Sunday in Lent

Hebrew Scripture Writings Lesson: Job 5:8-27

[{Job 4:1} Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:]

“As for me, I would seek God,
 and to God I would commit my cause.
He does great things and unsearchable,
 marvelous things without number.
He gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields;
 he sets on high those who are lowly,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
 so that their hands achieve no success.
He takes the wise in their own craftiness;
 and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
They meet with darkness in the daytime,
 and grope at noonday as in the night.
But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth,
 from the hand of the mighty.
So the poor have hope,
 and injustice shuts its mouth.

“How happy is the one whom God reproves;
 therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up;
 he strikes, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles;
 in seven no harm shall touch you.
In famine he will redeem you from death,
 and in war from the power of the sword.
You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue,
 and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
 and shall not fear the wild animals of the earth.
For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
 and the wild animals shall be at peace with you.
You shall know that your tent is safe,
 you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
You shall know that your descendants will be many,
 and your offspring like the grass of the earth.
You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
 as a shock of grain comes up to the threshing floor in its season.
See, we have searched this out; it is true.
Hear, and know it for yourself.”

Psalm 77

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God,
 that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
 in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and I moan;
I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah

You keep my eyelids from closing;
 I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
 and remember the years of long ago.
I commune with my heart in the night;
 I meditate and search my spirit:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
 and never again be favorable?
 Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
 Are his promises at an end for all time?
 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
 Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

And I say,“ It is my grief
 that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”

I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
 I will remember your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all your work,
 and muse on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
 you have displayed your might among the peoples.
With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
 the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

When the waters saw you, O God,
 when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
 the very deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
 the skies thundered;
 your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
 your lightnings lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea,
 your path, through the mighty waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock
 by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Peter 3:8-18a

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For

“Those who desire life
 and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
 and their lips from speaking deceit;
let them turn away from evil and do good;
 let them seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
 and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord
 is against those who do evil.”¹

Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God's will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

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¹Psalm 34:12-16

Year B Lent 1 Tuesday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Image credit: Unity of Spirit by Pixabay user GDJ, via Pixabay. This is a public domain image.

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