Pathways through Lent

Set Your Priorities by Putting God First

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

“Then God spoke all these words: . . .”

WTOP recently reported that Millennials are more stressed than any other age group, followed by Gen Xers. Stress plagues all of us at one point or another. Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands, much of it brought on by the overly busy-ness of our lives. In small doses, stress can help to energize us, but in large and constant doses, stress can take a toll on our mental, physical and spiritual health.

Lent gives us an opportunity to re-set our priorities. Today’s reading of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament can free us from our stress-filled lives by reminding us to put God first. God’s Commandments lay out boundaries and help us to set priorities by God’s standards, not our own.

The first three Commandments define our relationship with God, the fourth Commandment reminds us to keep the Sabbath holy (take a day of rest from that stress!), and the remaining Commandments speak to our human relationships.  That which God laid down for the Israelites so many years ago serves as a guide for ethical living in our world today.

So too, the Old Testament reading serves as a basis for our understanding of today’s Gospel reading. Jesus is offended by certain practices in the Temple because they compromised the sacredness of the site and detracted those who were there to worship.

Take time this Lenten season to assess what busy-ness detracts you from putting God first and give thought to re-setting your priorities in your relationship with God and others.

-Martha Jenkins


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