A Reading from the Book of Genesis (9:8-17)
God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
> “In” Lent — Every Sunday is a celebration of Easter and not considered a fasting day.
> Some churches count 40 “fasting days.”
> These verses describe the end of the flood story.
> There were many ancient flood stories in the Middle East.
> The two flood stories in the Bible do not match up.
> God is angry at mankind but has a change of heart and will “never again” seek to destroy all of them.
> God’s bow is hung up in the sky as a reminder of him putting down his arms.
> God’s covenant is with all of creation and not just Noah and his family — the start of a new beginning.
(Psalm refrain to be sung by soloist and repeated by all)
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3 Show me your ways, O Lord, *
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.
5 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, *
for they are from everlasting.
6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O Lord.
7 Gracious and upright is the Lord; *
therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8 He guides the humble in doing right *
and teaches his way to the lowly.
9 All the paths of the Lord are love and faithfulness *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
> These verses are a prayer for help — also an acrostic poem (each section starts with a new letter of the alphabet).
> The highlight is the trust the people place in God.
A Reading from the First Letter of Peter (3:18-22)
Christ suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.
> In the previous verses 13-17 the need for suffering in order to confess your faith is noted since Christ suffered.
> This follows the example of an ancient creed: Christ died, went to heaven, and was then exalted.
> The verses highlight what Jesus did right after he died – visiting sinners.
> It also refers back to the Noah’s ark story – the eight people = Noah, his wife, plus three sons and their wives.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (1:9-15)
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
> This is a “whirlwind tour” of Jesus’ life in seven verses!
> In the wilderness is also a reminder of of Israel’s 40 days.
> It also ties into Moses and Elijah who each fasted for 40 days.
> There is not the three-fold temptation as highlighted in Luke and Matthew.