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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for March 6, 2016

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SUNDAY, March 6       4 Lent

Psalm 32:12 Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the LORD; shout for joy, all who are true of heart.

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent, but this day has other names too. In England, this Sunday is often called Mothering Sunday, as an opportunity to honor mothers. It’s also called Refreshment Sunday. In churches where flowers are not used during Lent, they may make an appearance today. Where purple is used for Lent, this Sunday might instead feature rose-colored vestments. My favorite name for this day is Laetare Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word for rejoice. Hundreds of years ago, a snippet of scripture was sung as the clergy entered the church. Halfway through Lent, the appointed scripture was from Isaiah, “Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her…”

This is a Sunday to step out of the solemnity of Lent. It gladdens my heart that ancient tradition has provided a reprieve (even from Lent back when more people took it seriously). Perhaps we would do well to give ourselves a reprieve from the hard work we sometimes face. Even amidst challenge, we can by God’s grace rejoice.

PRAY for the Diocese of Bathurst (New South Wales, Australia)

Ps 32; Joshua 5:9-12; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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