Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Oh, swell.  This year with Easter running early, practically all of February is during Lent.  I have a hard time with February anyway.  I think what happens is, by February, my pineal gland has been chronically light-starved all winter, and it becomes a very grumpy month for me, because spring can't come soon enough.

Then, as if that isn't enough, with Easter coming early this year, that means pretty much all of February is Lenten, to boot.  So I'm supposed to be grumpy AND penitential for the whole month.  Aaaagh.

I've always tried to be fairly serious about Lent.  Historically, I give up hot sauce.  Considering I even eat hot sauce on oatmeal, that is a real sacrifice on my part.  Going without hot sauce is a reminder that, just as my meals become blander for 40 days, life without the light of God would be blander, too.  It also forces me to explore how to enjoy other spices in my meals and appreciate them.  But over the years, this has become my knee-jerk reaction to Lent, and I decided this year I wanted to also ADD something to the season as well as take away from it.

So, after some brief chatting with both Wallace and Carrol, I came up with a game plan.  One of my favorite Old Testament books is the book of Isaiah. I'm going to explore week by week the chapters that revolve around the concept of "the suffering servant."

I'll be honest:  I don't really see the book of Isaiah in quite the same light as my more fundamentalist brethren do.  They tend to focus on the prophetic aspects of it.  I tend to view it in reverse--that much of what Jesus says in the Gospels has roots in Isaiah, because that is the tradition in which He was trained.  I don't think he was really projecting His divinity with those quotes as much as He was using Isaiah as a "common vernacular" that had a commonality with the people who heard Him speak.

Likewise, I don't think the authors of the "three parts of Isaiah" really had in mind the notion to prognosticate the Messiah.  To me, it speaks more as "a short narrative of the history of the Israelites" and the task they were given to carry the ball for God's word at the time (the Torah).  That's no small feat when you think about the fact the people chosen to do this task had no homeland, few resources, and were constantly ruled by others.  To me it links in more of a historical sense than a prophetic one.  I see it more as a key to "the psychology of Christ" than "fulfillment of prophecy."  It allows me to see where Jesus was coming from when He spoke.

But, back to the game plan.  Here is my game plan for the five weeks preceding Passion Week:

Week 1:  Read 42:1-9 and chapter 49
Week 2:  Read Chapter 50
Week 3:  Read Chapter 51
Week 4:  Read Chapter 52
Week 5:  Read Chapter 53

I'm going to pay special attention to the "servant songs" and think about where the author was coming from, how this tag-teams into Christ's utterances, and what these passages mean to me in my own struggles and battles.  Then I plan to write a reflective piece on my findings.  I'm not sure how to "roll it all together" yet for Passion Week, but I'm sure something will bubble up.

Ok, now I know what my task is; it's just a matter of doing it!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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