Reading the Bible during Lent

Reading the Bible During Lent

Our Savior's Lutheran Church 2015

God's Justice

God desires that all of creation be filled with his justice so that all people have a fair chance at enjoying this life to the fullest. But we don't talk about God's justice very often. I suspect that sometimes we worry that God's justice is out to get us because we are too comfortable while others suffer. So to preserve our comfort we decide not to pay attention to the justice-commands of God.

I would like us to read Bible passages about justice this Lent. During my involvement with the Montana Association of Christians (MAC) I have been learning a lot about God's justice. MAC is an ecumenical organization that does a lot of things, but one of its priorities sticks out: “to be present in our state's broken places.” For MAC this means getting to work, witnessing for justice to the Montana Legislature which is currently in session. MAC is busy advocating on certain issues like how our state cares for children, abolishing the death penalty in favor of life without parole, and how we re-integrate prisoners back into society. I've learned that God cares about how we live, especially when it effects our neighbor. Indeed, loving God and loving the neighbor definitely includes doing justice.

So, please join me in this justice-oriented adventure through the Bible and let's see what happens. I have selected 40 readings to go with each day of Lent (except for Sundays). I have tried to pick readings that include big chunks of books, if not the whole thing. Other readings are so good, I've plucked them right out of their context. Each reading is approximately one chapter. We will start with Jesus for a few days, then spend a couple weeks with Moses and the Israelites. We will dive deep into the fire-breathing-justice-seeking prophets of the Old Testament, and end up with a little Paul and the Psalms. All you need to do is just read along.

I'd love to hear about your experience; please let me know. And don't hesitate to share your questions.

May God's Word bless you this Lent!

-Pastor Peter Erickson

Jesus

We begin not with Jesus, but with his mother as she sings loudly of God's justice. Then, Jesus' ministry begins with his own announcement that his work is focused on bringing God's justice to God's people.

February 18 (Ash Wednesday- come to church at 7pm!) Luke 1:26-56

February 19 Luke 4:1-30

February 20 Luke 6

February 21 Luke 10:25-37

February 23 Matthew 25:31-46

Moses

We see God enacting justice when God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Once the Israelites were freed, God provided them with laws that would ensure they continue to live out God's justice.

February 24 Exodus 1

February 25 (Soup Supper 6pm. Holden Evening Prayer 7pm) Exodus 2

February 26 Exodus 3

February 27 Exodus 4

February 28 Exodus 5


March 2 Exodus 6

March 3 Exodus 7 (optional extra reading: Exodus 8-10)

March 4 (Soup Supper 6pm. Holden Evening Prayer 7pm) Exodus 11-12

March 5 Exodus 13

March 6 Exodus 14-15:20

March 7 Deuteronomy 5:1-21


March 9 Leviticus 19

Prophets

The prophets of our Old Testament were preachers. Often their preaching railed against all who caused harm to others by neglecting God's laws about justice.

Isaiah – We begin with a favorite prophet. Isaiah reminds us that our acts of worship mean nothing to God when we are involved, directly or indirectly, with injustice.

March 10 Isaiah 58

March 11 (Soup Supper 6pm. Holden Evening Prayer 7pm) Isaiah 59

Amos – Working during the 8th century B.C. (700 years before Jesus), Amos was from the southern tribe of Judah. Years earlier the nation of Israel had split into two. Amos travels north to preach to the northern kingdom a message to come back to the south. But in doing so, they must return to God's ways of justice.

March 12 Amos 1

March 13 Amos 2

March 14 Amos 3


March 16 Amos 4

March 17 Amos 5

March 18 (Soup Supper 6pm. Holden Evening Prayer 7pm) Amos 6

March 19 Amos 7

March 20 Amos 8

March 21 Amos 9

Micah – Also working during the 8th century, Micah preached one of the most famous lines in the Old Testament: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

March 23 Micah 1

March 24 Micah 2

March 25 (Soup Supper 6pm. Holden Evening Prayer 7pm) Micah 3

March 26 Micah 4

March 27 Micah 5

March 28 Micah 6

Paul

The Apostle Paul, working in the first century A.D, is the greatest missionary in the history of Christianity. Paul travelled through the Mediterranean preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and establishing congregations. Congregations can be messy organizations. Justice is needed even there. Paul's letters to congregations are well-known for their doctrine and ethics. In areas of First Corinthians and Romans we hear even of justice.

March 30 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

March 31 1 Corinthians 12-13

April 1 Romans 12

April 2 (Maundy Thursday, come to church at 7pm!) Romans 13

The Psalms

In prayer and praise of God, we read the Psalms to learn how to speak to God. Occasionally this includes praising God for “executing justice for the oppressed” (Psalm 146:7).

April 3 (Good Friday service at 7pm) Psalm 10

April 4 Psalm 146