Daily Lectionary: Genesis 41:1-27; Mark 11:1-19
Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her;
that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast. (From the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Lent)
Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Rejoice! Be happy! Be Merry! Lose the repentant violet this week and replace it with forgiven, joyful rose. Celebrate the God who not only made you but saved you with His Lent and Good Friday.
God is for sinners. He was born for them, lived for them, was baptized for them, did miracles for them, and raised the dead for them. He was then betrayed into the hands of sinners for sinners, beaten by sinners, falsely accused, mocked, and then crucified. All that He did—in life and in death—He did for sinners. He was even numbered with sinners to save sinners. If that wasn’t enough “for sinners,” He became our sin so that we might become the very righteousness of God!
Lent can be happy! It should be! The wonderful Gospel truth of Jesus’ salvation changes everything. It turns frowns upside down. It makes our hearts grow not just three sizes but to an infinite, eternal life, size!
Repent. Mourn your sins. Be somber when you die to your grumpy religion. Stop doing your sins. Give them up and never take them back up again. Let your unhappiness and soberness end with the sackcloth and ashes of repentance.
Today, smile! Be happy! Be absolved! He was crucified for your sins. He was raised for your forgiveness, your justification, before God.
Let His joy spread to those around you! If you can’t be rejoicing because of what Jesus did for you, at least smile for the sake of those around you. Your family could really use a merry Lent. Your somberness probably doesn’t lift up your somber friends at all. But joy, happiness, contagious rejoicing might just pick up those around you from their somberness, mourning, and pain.
Rejoice! Jesus has raised you up out of your sin and death. He has saved you. He is raising up those around you with some Jesus-saved-me Lenten joy. Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
–Rev. George Borghardt
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!’ Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!” (From the Introit for the Fourth Sunday in Lent)