Page 12 - Lent2012v3b

Basic HTML Version

1st Sunday of Lent
Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 8-22
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15
The readings today all speak to the covenant relationship that God has established with
us, beginning with Noah and brought to its fullness in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Genesis reminds us that the rainbow is a sign of the covenant ˈbetween me and you and
all living beings.ˉ Psalm 25 tells us that if we faithfully follow God˅s way of love and
truth then we are keeping the covenant. 1 Peter makes the clear the connection between
Christ˅s death and resurrection and the Noahic covenant, which prefigured baptism. For
Mark, Jesus brings ˈthe time of fulfillmentˉ. Jesus heralds the Kingdom of God for each
one of us, if we can but repent, and follow the gospel of life in the Lord.
Truly understanding the depth of God˅s love, forgiveness and compassion for each one
of us can be difficult. How many of us have struggled to feel loved by God, or to even
feel worthy of that love? All too often our image of God is of a judging God who is
keeping a list of all of our sins and who, like Santa Claus, evaluates whether we are
ˈnaughty or niceˉ and therefore deserving of the gift of God˅s love.
Somehow it˅s awfully hard for most of us to really understand and accept that by virtue
of our baptism we are in a covenantal relationship with God, and not in a contractual re-
lationship. A covenant is different from a contract in some very important ways. In a
contract, if I break my side of the deal, or I don˅t meet the expectations of the other