March 1, 2024 - 8:00am

Lenten Meditation: March 1, 2024

Lenten Meditation: March 1, 2024

Daily Scripture Passage: Genesis 43:1-15

Why did you treat me so badly? — Genesis 43:6a

In the course of my life as a pastor I have sat with many people in pain as they ask the question, “why did this happen to me?”

It’s a good question, without many good answers to give in response. Israel is asking this question, when his sons tell him that in order to feed his people he must risk the life of his favorite child. From where the patriarch sits, out of grain and forced to beg, the emotional labor of watching Benjamin walk away feels impossible. Those of us who have read the whole story know something that Israel does not – that it is Joseph, his other favored child, who waits on the other side. Being willing to do the work of letting Benjamin go will save not only Israel and his sons, but their entire future.

The most useful question for Jacob/Israel to ask is not why, but how. How can he survive this risk? How can he trust God to care for his child? The answer to that question is easier to answer, for Israel and for us. This is a question that Lent can help with; how do we trust in God? How do we believe that there is a story bigger than the tragedies and uncertainties of our lives right now?

We practice. Whether we take on a discipline or let go of a cherished habit, Lent is an opportunity to practice the how of Christian life, a life that helps us discover what God is preparing for us on the other side of all the “why me” questions of our lives.

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