First Friday of Lent: Ezekiel and the Sins

It took an entire day for me to forget about my newest Lenten Discipline–writing reflections on the day’s text. To be fair, I had the bus ride from… hell… on the way back from Baltimore and it took me a while to recover.

So, here we are on the First Friday of Lent. Ash Wednesday is over–now we’re just beginning to see if we can keep up with the disciplines we started two days ago.

As a recent convert to the liturgical religions, a Southerner, and an omnivore, not eating meat on Wednesday was a real struggle. I managed breakfast because there was no meat available. A PB&J lunch got me through until a Mediterranean dinner. I’ve decided that I can go full-Veggie on Good Friday, but until then, Fridays will be no-red-meat. A compromise I think I can live with.

Oh, back to the reflection.

Today’s reading from the Old Testament comes from Ezekiel. The BCP says to readĀ Ezekiel 18:1-4 and 25-32, but Mission St. Clare included the in-between text–and wow. That’s a lot of sin to worry about.

Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.

Thankfully, the lectionary reading emphasizes the most important part: We’re only responsible for our own sins. Not those of our parents or grandparents or our children. God only holds us responsible for our own iniquities.

if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period, 7 does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8 does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, 9 follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.

I’m still confused why we decided it was okay to charge interest.


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