Hi Beloveds,
Today is the first Sunday in Lent. We lost an hour due to daylight savings time, which made me late to church (37 minutes late to work, to be exact!), but I still got to sing to my Jesus and pray to my Father in Heaven, being enveloped in the arms of His Holy Spirit.

Today’s readings have a common theme: Calling upon the name of the Lord. In Deuteronomy 26:1-11, the Israelites are commanded to give the first fruits of their labors to Heavenly Father, in remembrance of what God did for them when they called out to him in Egypt. He rescued them, as they were in a desperate situation. In the Psalms, David (as tradition says he is the author) cries out to God the Father in hope. He declares that the Lord is his “refuge and fortress” and that he “rests in the shadow of the Almighty.” He declares, further, that we can call upon the name of the Lord, where he will not only be ever-present with us in our troubles, but will “deliver us and honor us.”

In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the Arm of the LORD (Isaiah 53:1). He is a refuge, our hope, our fortress. He becomes the way in which the Father interacts with the world, through God’s Holy Power. In Luke 4:1-13, this Jesus walks through the desert for forty days, fighting temptations from the devil. He says to only serve Heavenly Father and to not test God Almighty.

Then, finally, in Romans 10:8b-13, Paul reminds us that EVERYONE, not just Jews like in the past Exodus, can be saved by calling upon the name of the LORD. As Disciples, we are saved by calling upon the name of the Lord via baptism (Acts 22:16).

Calling upon the LORD in past times was reserved for trouble and praise. Surely, David and all the other Psalmists cried out to God in both praise and in anguish. David sinned A LOT, yet the LORD was always near to his heart. Jesus reminds us that even in the desert, we should look to God through worship, praise, and anguish. I can only imagine that he relied upon the LORD when he was tempted, hurt, hungry, and anxious for his ministry, death, and resurrection ahead. In Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Paul explains that calling upon the Lord Jesus and Heavenly Father is not just for little pains or crying glories, but for salvation itself! As David explains in Psalm 91, “I will show them my salvation,” God shows us his salvation amidst all our troubles via our sins and others sins. That, as David sinned and repented, we can erase our sins through repentance, calling upon the name of the LORD, and baptism. We can be free of our sins. We can be free.

God, are you there? Surely, he is. Jesus and Heavenly Father are there, wrapping their arms around you through God’s Holy Spirit. Call upon them, my dears.

Be loved, and share that love, Beloveds.

Amen.

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