February 20, 2015

Thinking about Lent

We are approaching the First Sunday in Lent.  The "Living By The Word" in Christian Century for this Sunday is written by Paul Nuechterlein, senior pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Portage, Michigan.  He focuses on the lectionary texts: Genesis 9: 8-17 and 1 Peter 3:18-22.  In discussing baptism and covenant, he has these thoughts midway through the article:

In short, covenant is an ongoing relationship for the sake of getting to know who God truly is, of being brought to God.  Christ came to fulfill that covenant.  The God revealed by baptism in the death and resurrection of Christ offers a startling alternative to the gods of our origins.  The human answer to violence is to inflict more violence to stop it.  God's answer to this is to suffer violence on the cross - showing violence to be impotent compared to God's life-giving power of love on Easter, and enacting the healing power of forgiveness in the giving of the Spirit.  In the cross and resurrection, God saves us from the flood of human violence that threatens to destroy us.