February 22, 2012


Forty days and nights of rain for Noah.

Forty days on top of Mount Sinai for Moses.

Forty years of wandering for the Hebrews.

Forty days and nights of walking to Mount Horeb for Elijah.

Forty days to repent for Nineveh.

Forty days in the wilderness of fasting and temptation for Jesus.

Forty hours in the tomb to bring defeat for death.

Forty days of prayer, reflection, and repentance for us.

I've never before been a part of a Christian tradition that observes Liturgical days concerning Jesus. I've always known about the recurrence of the theme of "Forty" throughout the Bible, but I'd never given much thought to the symbolism of the motif until now.

It's the time of year when things are renewed; birds return, wildflowers bloom, the trees bring their new leaves. The dormant grasses send up new green growth, and rains bring nourishment to the land to sustain it through the heat of Summer. The beauty and splendor of nature abounds.

And for us, forty days to remember Him and His sacrifice for us. Forty days to 'examine our ways, and turn again to the Lord.' Forty days of gratitude for the victory over death He gave us. Forty days to work towards turning belief in to being.

Forty days to look inward while reaching outward, to contemplate and internalize the deeper meaning of what Jesus said to the Pharisees: "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,"

May we all be richly blessed today.

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