The Lenten call to deepen faith is better done wherever two or more are gathered! If you are interested in learning how to become a justice-seeking congregation in partnership with MFSA, contact the MFSA office at email@example.com
Is not this the fast that I choose?
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Acts 4:32-35-- NRSV
The flood story is not an easy story. It reflects an ancient worldview. There is mass destruction and death that is caused by God. God laments the state of creation and repents – establishing a covenant with every living creature, not just humanity (Genesis 9:9-10). The rainbow becomes God’s reminder to never again bring that kind of destruction upon the earth (9:14-15). One of my favorite images of the rainbow is that of a war bow turned upside down.
In Lent, as in our Genesis story, God again chooses to make a new way. Rome was ruling the known world with war, debt, occupation, and division between citizen and non-citizen as its weapons. The Cross was the ultimate Roman punishment for those who opposed its power. But for those who sought another way, another truth, and another life, it was wisdom; a symbol subverted to now represent not power over others, but resurrection, new life, and hope for community where everyone is invited to pray and eat together, sharing so no one has need (Acts 4:32-35).
Prayer God of creation, chaos, flood and new life, in Lent as we seek deeper faith, forgiveness and reparation of broken relationships, help us remember “not my will but yours be done.” Amen.
Action The Lenten call to deepen faith is better done wherever two or more are gathered! If you are interested in learning how to become a justice-seeking congregation in partnership with MFSA, contact the MFSA office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Rev. Joshua Steward is the North Central Jurisdictional Representative to the MFSA Board of Directors. He is an elder in the Iowa Annual Conference serving Sheridan Park UMC in Des Moines, IA.