February 29, 2024 - 8:00am

Lenten Meditation: February 29, 2024

Lenten Meditation: February 29, 2024

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 71

You have showed me great troubles and adversities, but you will restore my life and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth. — Psalm 71:20

Psalm 71 invites us to ask ourselves: Is our relationship to God transactional, or is it covenantal?

A transactional relationship is based on present circumstance: in it one partner asks the other, “what can you do for me now?” It gives no weight to history; it presumes that inconstancy is not only possible but to be expected. Therefore we fear, sometimes rightly, that we could be abandoned by our partner at any time. A covenantal relationship is exactly the opposite: it presumes faithfulness no matter the circumstance; it is based on a sacred promise that is intended to be eternal; and it gives tremendous weight to history, presuming that constancy in the past will mean faithfulness, now and always.

Read Psalm 71 in its entirety, aloud if possible. Then read it again, and again. See how the elderly psalmist struggles in their present predicament, suffering unspecified attacks by “the wicked.” Feel the spasms of fear that “the wicked” might just triumph this time. But especially note the number of times the psalmist remembers the promises God made to Israel, and how God had consistently proved faithful, both in history and in the psalmist’s own life. This gives the psalmist (who in earlier, better times, had always delighted in praising God) the courage and faith to hope in and praise God even while neck-deep in their current trials. Could we do the same?

This Lent, we should ask ourselves: Is my relationship with God transactional, or is it covenantal?

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