Forth Sunday during Lent

Isaiah 12:2–6, Jeremiah 31:31–34, Luke 22:14–20

Isaiah is often not filled with much encouragement. This particular “song”, however, is a pronouncement of the saved telling the unsaved that they can be saved.

Isaiah starts out with his salvation, and that his relationship with God is sound. He then tells the wayward hearer that they will joyfully (note they are miserable) draw water of their salvation. Then they will sing praises to God. Springs of salvation, or could we say Living Water? What do you think?

Water is life. This is a special truth in the desert, where water is scarce. From a scriptural standpoint, blood is the life of a creature. Thus when we come to communion, we are to consider both the aspect of blood as life (Jesus’ blood) and water as life (Jesus is the living water). When Isaiah speaks about the spring of salvation, it is reasonable to see a foreshadowing of communion.

With its darker tone (the blood of Jesus), it is also easy to see that this is not quite what had happened before, yet had similar attributes to the sacrificial practices of the Israelites. When Jeremiah speaks of a new covenant, there is little chance that the Israelites would have expected how that covenant would come to be. That this new covenant also changes how the “law” worked would also be beyond expectation. How would the Israelites “know” God’s law? It is not until the Holy Spirit is fully expressed that an understanding of this new way of the law fully revealed. There is also a special promise in Jeremiah’s New Covenant speech. If we all know God’s law, and have to be neither taught nor teach (admonish) others. Looking at the world around us, and our own lives, the only way that happens is if we fully yield ourselves to God. Yielding ourselves to God often starts with the simple acknowledgment that we cannot fully understand God.

The disciples didn’t fully understand God, and they spent 3 years with Jesus! Have you heard, if only Jesus were here, we’d get the real/whole story, and we’d understand (or even believe). If his disciples who were with him (even one going so far as to betray him) for years didn’t get it, would we be any more likely? With our post-Enlightenment and scientific tendencies, we might be even less likely to understand! Even Judas Iscariot (the betrayer) up to this point didn’t get what this specific night meant for the future. They were just celebrating Passover with Jesus.

When we celebrate communion (a sacrament), we become participants in this last meal.

Instead of the usual questions at the end (besides, there were plenty of questions already), we will end with Book of Common Prayer, Contemporary Collect for the Fourth Sunday of :
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down
from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world:
Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in
him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and for ever. Amen.
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