St Marks Lenten Thoughts, Saturday before the first Sunday of Lent

Saturday before the First Sunday in Lent

Psalm 30 Deut 7:17-26 Titus 3:1-15 John 1:43-51

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked Philip. (John 1:46) Well,Nathanael, yes…yes it can.
In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd one of our early works is geography. We have a small globe with smooth blue for the oceans, rough sand for the land, and a tiny red dot for Israel. The place where Jesus was born, died and where he rose. Within Israel was Nazareth; some described it as uncelebrated and forgotten. Then we simply wonder aloud, “Why did God choose this tiny place for Jesus to be born?” I wonder…They say, “big things come in small packages”, and in this case, that’s the understatement of all eternity.

Throughout the Bible, we read stories about the lesser being the greater. The little brother who would rule over his entire family. A small David overcoming a giant Goliath. A baby born to be a Mighty Warrior and Prince of Peace, who happened to live off the beaten path, and there are countless other adversarial confrontations. In one example while in the wilderness Moses tells the Israelites, “You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out? But do not be afraid…the Lord God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed…No one will be able to stand up against you, you will destroy them.’” (Deut. 7:17-24) A small people overcoming seven larger and stronger nations.

Therefore, as Psalm 30 says, “We will exalt you Lord, for you lifted us out of the depths and did not let our enemies gloat over us. We call to the Lord our God and He turns our wailing into dancing, removes our sackcloth and clothes us in joy. Lord our God, we praise you forever”. (vv. 1,2,11-12)
So, yes Nathanael…great, wonderous, victorious things can come out of Nazareth. All we need is faith.

Lauren Ewing

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