Now Is The Time Lent Study

Weekly Devotion Feb. 22nd

The First Sunday in Lent is Feb 22nd.  The First Reading is from Genesis 9:8-17.

God said to Noah (regarding the end of the flood and the rainbow that followed), “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”  (17)

Just a week before the MRI that led to my brain surgery last fall, Stephanie and I went kayaking from the Sutliff Bridge on the Cedar River.  It was an unpredictable day weather wise, but it looked as though the storm was passing.  The clouds were far to the north of us, and the wind was blowing east.  But, no sooner than we started to paddle did it begin to rain.  We kept on paddling, thinking the rain would pass, but the farther we went the worse it got.  By the time we had paddled well out of sight from Sutliff the storm began to crash; lightning and wind, with dark clouds and pounding rain.  We paddled to the nearest sandbar and took some cover under the lowest of trees, feeling colder by the minute as we got soaked in the rain.  It was there that Stephanie found the 2 ounce Duraglas (pictured above), a famous medicine dispenser from the early 20th century manufactured in Illinois.  And, then the wind and the rain just stopped.  A rainbow appeared up ahead.  The sun came out, and we paddled on.  It was one of the most beautiful days of kayaking I can remember.  The eagles and the geese and the cattle and the fish were as happy as we.

I think about that experience often.  Knowing then what I found out one week later about my brain condition, would I have gone?  It’s hard to say.  But, I’m glad we did.  The truth is, if I hadn’t been so uncertain about my future on that day, we might not have gone at all because of the weather forecast.  Instead, my inner thoughts and feelings said, “Let’s go now, while the going is good.”

This is the meaning of Lent.  We will gather to hear about darkness and storms, about suffering and death.  The Gospel for this coming Sunday will remind us of Jesus’ baptism in the river followed by his temptation in the wilderness (Mark 1:9-15), which was a lot like Stephanie’s and my experience at the Sutliff Bridge!  The good only comes if we venture forth and don’t stay behind afraid of the storm.  “The kingdom of God has come near,” says Jesus. “Repent,” (which means to turn around and see where the light is coming from), “and believe in the good news.”  Are you ready to venture forth?

Pastor Rob   

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245