TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2022
The Rev. Erin Davenport ’05, LSW, Director of Strategic Initiatives
SCRIPTURE Psalm 146 1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. 3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. 4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish. 5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; 7 who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. 10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the LORD!
DEVOTIONAL I spend a lot of my time reading the news on my phone or in some of my favorite magazines. As I read, I often wonder: where is the hope? I spend hours researching candidates for elections, reading up on policies, and educating myself so that I have a glimmer of understanding of what is or is not happening in the world around me. And I often wonder: where is the hope? I confess that at times, I find myself looking for hope in all the wrong places. I look for hope in politics, government, and social service organizations. I look for hope in my checking account, online shopping, and local stores. And yet this hymn reminds me that the hopes of this world perish when the person, place, or thing connected to them perishes. These hopes are temporal. The hope of the God of Jacob is eternal. This hope is not something I wander around looking for, but something that finds me. God’s hope is a hope that finds all of us.
PRAYER Jesus, you are our hope. Thank you for reaching out to us with your hope this day and every day. Help us to see the hope that you provide us today. Amen.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe."
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
Be he refused.
Instead he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported thew hole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his mater handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
so will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."
The Gospel of the Lord.
Is there someone in your life with whom you need to reconcile? During the lenten season, seek peace and forgiveness in your heart and mind.