Posted by: Fr Chris | March 4, 2019

Beginning of Great Lent 2019

Meditation on Genesis 1 and Proverbs 1

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We begin Lent with the beginning of Genesis, first book of the bible, and the voice of Wisdom as recorded in the book of Proverbs. Wisdom here is not only the wisdom of King Solomon and sayings collected from various people, it is the voice of God. Solomon asked for wisdom as God’s gift to him, and all through Lent we will read what Wisdom has to offer us.

 

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As for Genesis, creation stories in the ancient Near East were stories of battles and chaos caused by gods who wanted to enslave human beings. The Jewish text is much different. It is a peaceful creation, one achieved by God alone, through His Word – the Word which will become incarnate to save us from our sins. He speaks: results happen. It is a steady progression, from making the universe to the world, to the elements, to the animals. Then God stops the process and makes a new creation: us. Human beings, God says, are to be “in our image”, the voice of the Trinity. The humans are made not to be slaves, but to love God, to walk with God, to know God. The world is made for the humans to live in, not as a prison, but as a wonderful creation filled with life. It is presented as a peaceful place, a place of serenity.

One of the key elements in Genesis is this: Original Sin cannot destroy God’s creation, nor can all the sins that flow from it. Our destiny remains, which is to be with Him. God will triumph over the damage caused by sin, through the sending of the Logos, the Word, Who will take flesh as one of us.

That same Word gives us teachings to live by, as we will read in Proverbs every day of Great Lent. That Word will suffer incredibly for us, so that we can again walk on the path laid out by God in the beginning. We are made to be with Him, to know Him, to love Him. In this time when so many people are rejecting God, turning aside from God, and doing their best to cause harm to others, let us make this Great Lent, this Great Fast, a season in which to renew our connection with God: through participating in the services, through our reading, through our prayers outside of church. Let us offer our penances to this loving God for the return of those who have tossed Him and His Church aside, for the salvation of those who have damaged His Church, and for the redemption of this world that God so loved that He sent His only-begotten Son to suffer and die for us at the end of this Great Lent. Then we can have a truly joyous Easter Sunday in April. Christ is among us.

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