First Sunday in Lent: “Love from of Old”

“Be mindful of your mercy and steadfast love, from of old…”

Lent begins with the end of the Flood narrative from the Hebrew Scriptures. Lent begins with God’s promise to be faithful. Lent begins with the end of destruction. The promise is not simply that God will resist his wrath. The promise marks the end of an old project and the beginning of a new one. Abraham will found a new people, through whom every future generation will know peace. Israel.

The covenant is based on love. Love is what shapes everything for the people of God. Love is the beginning, from of old. Love is the end that we seek. Love is the means we employ.

The fundamental claim of Scripture is that the world will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. All things will be reconciled – through the cross.

Lent is hard. We are dying. “[Lent is the time] when Christians attend their own funerals.” says Barbara Brown Taylor. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” It is in dying to self that we discover life… and love. Yes, Lent is hard. So, we pray Psalm 25:1-10 today. “Remember your mercy and love.. from of old.” Lent is hard… but we have hope. In dying to self we are rooted in Love. God’s love. It is from old. And it awaits us in the New Creation.

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