Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Faith, Hope and Love (1 Thessalonians 1:2–5)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Friday, 17 March 2017

Week 3: Salvation—Not for Sale

Week 3, Day 6

Article XI, “Of the Justification of Man,” The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion

We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings: Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

Faith, Hope and Love (1 Thessalonians 1:2–5)

Brian Williams, Anglican, Argentina

We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 

There are times in life when one can feel anxiety, fear and doubt and is overwhelmed by worries, apathy and the strong feeling that one’s existence is meaningless. This might happen when facing loss, illness or significant changes in life. However, it may also occur for no apparent reason.

The Word of God copes with these feelings, using three terms: hope, faith and love. When hope is lost, anxiety and despair step in; when faith crumbles and falls, uncertainty, doubt and the sense of living a meaningless life emerge; when love breaks into pieces, mistrust, fear and apathy may appear.

Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Hope does not deny the reality but assumes that tomorrow will be better than today. Psalm 30:5 puts it this way, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” This is why what in the past were our hopes, may today become our achievements.

While hope is the desire to get to a better place, faith is the assurance of how to get there. It gives meaning, direction and purpose to life. Faith is about knowing and believing in God. Its concern is to overcome doubts and to nail down the truth regarding God in your life. Faith lets us see that the course of events is determined by God. Every aspect of life gets a new meaning when faith in God breaks in.

Through faith we experience God’s love. Love is the world’s most powerful energy, driving people to achieve great goals. It erases loneliness, sweeps away fear, liberates us and gives us a sense of belonging. Love commits us to one another. It allows us to forgive and helps us to accept those who are different. In human relationships people tend to ask, What can I get? or, What do I need to give in return? Love calls us to turn our eyes towards others, to act out of compassion without asking for a cost benefit. You need faith to be inspired, hope to persevere and love to accomplish the job.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”