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Lenten Reflections: A New Foundation
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during Lent, we offer reflections from Bread staff and others who faithfully work to end hunger.
1 Kings 6:1-4, 21-22;
1 Corinthian 3:10-23
Today, half-way through our Lenten pilgrimage, the Scripture readings talk about temples and foundations. But we live in a time of shaky foundations. An improving economy hasn’t resolved the collective anxiety created by the collapse of our nation’s financial foundation in 2008. Many of us are still angry with Wall Street, the Temple of Creed, which caused economic turmoil for so many families and ruined so many careers.
In the midst of our anxiety and fear, the Psalmist urges us to join him in singing God’s praises in the temple, where God dwells. Spending a day worshipping God renews our happiness. In 1 Kings, we hear how lovingly Solomon built this temple, taking special care to build a solid foundation.
The reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians invites us to transform our thinking about foundations and about temples. Writing to early Christians who were wasting their time with quarrels and jealously, Paul reminds them of “the love that transforms and reconciles."
Paul’s words invite us to build our lives on a new foundation, Jesus Christ. When we come to Holy Week, we will hear in Mark’s Gospel how Jesus’ crucifixion is the death of the old temple. In laying down his life, Jesus becomes the New Temple. Through our baptism, we become part of Christ’s body, and, as Paul reminds us, "God’s spirit dwells in you."
With this new foundation and with the Spirit dwelling in us, we are transformed by God’s love. We are now free to love our neighbors – to look out for their best interests rather than our own. We are free to seek the protection of those who are hungry and vulnerable. We are emboldened to raise our voices on behalf of policies that encourage a more stable and peaceful world.
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