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Feb 25 2007

Lent: Day 7 – Prayer & Scripture (Sunday of the Expulsion)

Today’s Prayer

Do not hold a grudge against me, the image of death.
Do not berate my breathless figure.
Do not strike me while I am suffering the
pangs of death.
Do not deal harshly with the cracked clay vessel
of my existence.
Do not double your wrath: I am crushed by
your sentence.
Do not condemn to destruction my already
dilapidated structure.
Do not throw stones at me: I am already like a dead dog.
Do not fulminate at me sternly: I am like a
crushed flea.
Do not roar at me mightily, as if upon some braggart:
I am lower than dirt.
Do not summon me for trial by ordeal:
I am but cast away ash.
Do not view me, who am but vanishing dust,
as your opponent.
Do not deem me, who am loathsome sediment,
to be your foe.
Do not ward me off, a contemptible abomination,
as if I am a warrior.
Do not set me aside as material for hell:
I am worthless refuse.
Do not scold me again, who by this multitude of
words already
has been admonished many times over.

Today’s Scripture (Reading)

Luke 4:43 – 5:11

but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes’aret.
And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”
And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,
they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken;
and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb’edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.”
And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Daily Prayer and Scripture taken from the Armenian Church website

Sunday of the Expulsion2nd Sunday Card

“O Lord, who first gave the law of holy abstinence to Adam in paradise where he broke it by tasting the fruit and thereby tasting the bitterness of sin and death, grant us that we may taste the sweetness of Your commandments. We have been struck in our souls by the Enemy with wounds of sin, and we need You, the lover of man; to relieve our pain; therefore O Christ who loves man, heal us.” (Sharagan for the Second Sunday.)

On the Sunday of the Expulsion from the Garden we encounter our own great sin: pride. Mankind (Adam and Eve) had all they needed in the Garden; their lives with God were complete. God asked only that they love Him, and obey Him as all sensible creatures would obey a loving Creator, since the Creator knows His creatures and their needs better than they themselves do. But in His love God made us free, and the tree from which Adam and Eve ate represents the free choice all of us must make.

We can love God and acknowledge Him as the Creator on whom we depend. Or in pride we can say, “I don’t need God. I am my own lord!” And Satan (the serpent) tempts us by appealing to our pride. “Eat and by eating become like God,” he says. So we turn from God’s Lordship and instead set ourselves up as gods.

But then we find out: man by himself is weak, and without God can find only sin, shame, and death. So man, having chosen not to be with God, is sent from the garden into the hard world where pride reigns. It is a world where other hungers, like Adam’s hunger for lordship, assail man.

Yet God’s love never deserts us, and even in our stupid pride His promise is made, His plan of salvation begun. Another will come, and be tempted by Satan to eat. And He will answer that man does not live by bread alone, but by God and God’s commands. This other, Christ, the “new Adam,” will not succumb to the sin of pride as Adam did before.

During Lent we fast with Christ, not to punish ourselves but restore ourselves to dependence on God and not on bread alone. God Himself, becoming man in the person of Christ, shows us the way to this restoration.

The hunger our pride creates is truly devilish, for it can, never be satisfied. But the hunger for God which we experience with Christ during Lent will be filled to overflowing: that is the promise that carries on from the garden to the cross to the empty tomb to our lives this minute.

The day’s readings (Wisdom 5:1-8, Baruch 3:31-4:4, Romans 8:28-39, John 10: 11-16) tell us of that promise which even persecution and massacre cannot overcome.

armenian church, lent, prayer, readings, scripture

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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