March 22, 2020
The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Baptism is sometimes called enlightenment. The gospel for this Sunday is the story of the man born blind healed by Christ. I was blind, but now I see, declares the man. In baptism God opens our eyes to see the truth of who we are: God’s beloved sons and daughters. As David was anointed king of Israel, in baptism God anoints our head with oil and calls us to bear witness to the light of Christ in our daily lives.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
Bend Your ear to our prayers, Lord Christ, and come among us. By Your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with Your Spirit, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Festivals and Commemorations this week
The faithful are remembered on the day of their death, the day they are born anew in heaven. The "c" indicates an approximate date.
March 22 Jonathan Edwards, teacher, missionary to the American Indians, 1758
Edwards was a minister in Connecticut and has been described as the greatest of the New England Puritan preachers. One of Edwards’s most notable sermons has found its way into contemporary anthologies of literature. In this sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” he spoke at length about hell. Throughout the rest of his works and his preaching, however, he had more to say about God’s love than God’s wrath. His personal experience of conversion came when he felt overwhelmed with a sense of God’s majesty and grandeur rather than a fear of hell. Edwards served a Puritan congregation. He believed that only those who had been fully converted ought to receive communion; his congregation thought otherwise. Edwards left that congregation and carried out mission work among the Housatonic Indians of Massachusetts. He became president of the College of New Jersey, later to be known as Princeton.
March 24 Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Bishop of El Salvador, martyr, died 1980
Romero is remembered for his advocacy on behalf of the poor in El Salvador, though it was not a characteristic of his early priesthood. After being appointed as archbishop of San Salvador, he preached against the political repression in his country. He and other priests and church workers were considered traitors for their bold stand for justice, especially defending the rights of the poor. After several years of threats to his life, Romero was assassinated while presiding at the eucharist. During the 1980s thousands died in El Salvador during political unrest.
March 25 Annunciation of Our Lord
Nine months before Christmas the church celebrates the annunciation. In Luke the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will give birth to the Son of God, and she responds, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord.” Ancient scholars believed that March 25 was also the day on which creation began and was the date of Jesus’ death on the cross. Thus, from the sixth to eighth centuries, March 25 was observed as New Year’s Day in much of Christian Europe.