Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday after Quinquagesima

Just a quick post, then clean house for supper guests...

I just want you and Bror to know that I'm also reading his translation of Bo Giertz's devotional. It's a great book. I read it in spurts. Each devotion is quite fully packed and does give one enough to think about for the time. The prayers are quite amazing and another devotion right there. So, you can't read right through the book. You have to let each devotion sit and work.

I don't always know exactly where I am supposed to be. It does not really matter too much, but today I know where we are: the Friday after Quinquagesima (the spell checker does not know the word). If you don't know what Quinquagesima is, I looked it up on Wikipedia:

Quinquagesima is the name for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It was also called Quinquagesima Sunday, Shrove Sunday or Esto Mihi. The name originates from Latin quinquagesimus (fiftieth), referring to the fifty days before Easter Sunday using inclusive counting which counts both Sundays (normal counting would count only one of these).

There, probably more than you wanted to know, but still good to know.

Today's devotion (Friday after Quinquagesima), has this first paragraph about some outrageous sad events that people wanted Jesus to comment on (read Luke 13), (does one need copywrite permission to copy something like this here?):

Only Luke wrote about the events we read about in today's Scripture reading. On the way to Jerusalem, people told Jesus about Pilate's recent outrageous action. He ordered an assault on some Galileans and mixed their blood with their sacrifices (Luke 13:1). Luke does not record why Pilate took this action. Those who reported the terrible news probably wanted to hear what Jesus had to say about it. Jesus bluntly replied that the same would happen to us all if we didn't repent. He reminded them of another tragic event. A tower had fallen in Jerusalem and took eighteen lives. The people wondered why things like that happened. Did the victims deserve to suffer for some reason? No more than anybody else, Jesus answered. If we don't repent, we will all perish.

We ourselves in this family and many others have wondered and cried out why a young person had to die tragically when the old folks homes and hospitals are full of old people ready to die. Why does this happen? --We can try console ourselves with this thought or another, but none of the answers are totally helpful or satisfying.

I note here, too, Jesus does not give much of an explanation. Not far off from Job. Why them and not others? Not because they were better or worse than others. All we are supposed to worry about is our own repentance. Blunt answer? Helpful answer? Unhelpful answer? It's all that we get to know. We will die too, and if we don't repent and turn to Christ, we will all perish, too.

When the outcry reaches me in our own circumstance: why the young man? I can only just say something similar: life is very brief, anyways; brief, fleeting; we will soon be there, too. Watch for yourself and who is left in your family. Repent and believe the Good News. That's it. And we're told that's enough to know.

My mother died at 44, and that was too young. My father-in-law died right after he retired. He never got to enjoy it. That was too young. 18, is way too young. But we don't know where our hour glass is at. We just know it's running. Let's think about it and get wise.

So much for the Friday after Quinquagesima.

Here is also the prayer that goes with the devotion:

Lord, dear Father in heaven, how many times have You come, looking for fruit and not finding any? And yet You let me remain in Your vineyard. Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for interceding. I know what would have happened if You hadn't taken me on Your shoulders. Help me seize the day today, tomorrow, and every other day as a day of grace and a gift from You. I know there is a good reason for it because You gave it to me. Help me to do and be whatever You wanted when You gave it to me.


Steve Martin said...


You'd better be careful!

That Bror guy, will introduce you to all manner of words which may or may not be legitimate.

Brigitte said...

I'll take him on for the German and the Latin, but the Greek and Hebrew and the Swedish we'd have to trust him.