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Lenten Daily Devotional - March 29

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“I will set up my covenant with you and your descendants after you in every generation as an enduring covenant.  I will be your God and your descendants’ God after you.” 
Genesis 17:7

Reflection

In this passage, God is speaking to Abraham and promising to be his God and the God of his descendants for generations to come – an enduring covenant.  It comes in the middle of the story of 99-year-old Abram’s being told that he will become the father of nations and kings – a surprising notion at a point in his life and his wife’s when children appear to be an impossibility.  Male circumcision is to be the sign of the promised bond, required of Abraham and his people to seal the covenant with the Lord.

So what does this have to do with Lent?  With Maundy Thursday?

We are a covenant people, heirs to this Abrahamic covenant of blessing. But more importantly, we are people of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection form the contours of this covenant, which Jesus articulates during the Passover meal he celebrated with his disciples on what we now call Maundy Thursday.  Sharing the bread, he said, “This is my body broken for you.” Then he took the cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Drink this in remembrance of me.”  That mandate –“Do this” -- seals the New Covenant every time we partake of Holy Communion. We are indeed a covenant people.

Pray

Covenant God, keep us mindful of the rich heritage that we share with ancient people such as Abraham.  Remind us that you have established a New Covenant in the life, death, and resurrection of your Son our Lord.  Especially on this Maundy Thursday, make us mindful of your self-sacrificing love and call forth from us a life of commitment and obedience to your will.  Amen.

Ask

What covenants – explicit or implicit – do you recognize and honor in your own life?

Act

Attend a Maundy Thursday Service and receive Holy Communion. Think about what can you sacrifice or give up as you leave the Lenten season that would bless the lives of others. For example: give up one or more coffee shop beverages a week and give the money to a charity of your choice; give up obsessing about grades, weight, and imperfections and direct that energy toward making those around you feel beautiful and special.

About the Author

Sara C. Moseley, a former English teacher and communications consultant for McKinsey & Company, joined PHPC in the summer of 1991.  An ordained elder, she served as Executive Director of the PHPC Foundation for several years; she has taught numerous Sunday School classes, continues to lead Bible studies and other groups, serves on the Worship Council, and sings in the Sanctuary Choir.

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