Some months ago I remember reading words to the effect that

we have, over the years, to acquire the shape that fits the purpose of who and what we say we are. We cannot afford to become square pegs in round holes. The phrase ‘over the years’ fits well with the idea of our unfinished symphonies. However we cannot continue composing the music if we are working without the tuning fork mentioned last week. Neglect of the tuning fork will affect the ‘shape’ of our music – Beethoven and the modern Rapper have very little in common!


OLD TESTAMENT READING [2 CHRONICLES 36:14 – 16. 19 – 23] presents us with a picture of people who had become square pegs in round holes. If we recall last week’s reflection it is easily recognisable that (i) the fundamental notion of God’s sovereignty had been slowly but surely eroded. The Lord was no longer the boss, and (ii) other gods had become dominant.

As I type these lines an incident recorded in the Book of Deuteronomy

(9:6 – 12+) springs to mind. It took only the 40-days that Moses was absent from them for the people to find a substitute god which they themselves had fashioned. The duration of our Lenten season enjoys a similarity with those 40-days (as well as Jesus’ own time of withdrawal in the wilderness). Now, from one point of view, we should see the time of our own Lenten ‘withdrawal’ as an opportunity for displacing the ‘other gods’ that have we have introduced into our living and are now in competition with the Lord. We have already had three weeks to sharpen the focus – and start doing some serious carpentry on the square pegs we have begun to be. What a tragedy if we have already become weary of being, in some way, left to do something for ourselves – without the presence of an overseer.

Immediately words from

TODAY’S PSALM [137 or 136] come to mind. How is it possible for us to “sing the song of the Lord” if we have chosen to place ourselves “on foreign soil“? We should be striving to “prize Jerusalem as the first of (our) joys.” To prize Jerusalem as the first means to accept thesovereignty of God and to know that the Lord is the boss.

At this stage of Lent our

NEW TESTAMENT EXTRACT [EPHESIANS 2: 4 – 10] needs to be accepted as an essential seasonal-medicinal tonic – a sort of Vitamin B12+ injection. {As I typed the last line it suddenly occurred to me that I had discovered yet another description for Lent – the time for our annual faith-spiritual Vitamin B12+ injection}. The first encouragement given by Paul is both simple and basic – God “is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he (loves) us.” In Lent we have the opportunity of allowing our God to make “us alive with Christ,” and he shows us “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.” When our Lenten efforts flag let us remember “we ARE his workmanship.” He has made us round pegs for the very purpose of fitting into HIS round holes! Lent calls us to renew our efforts in restoring our ‘roundness’.

In passing I suspect we should face the challenge that a sow’s ear cannot be moulded into a silk purse. I have to stop functioning as if I was the god of my little kingdom and allow Christ to do his work.

Here is where

TODAY’S GOSPEL [JOHN 3: 14 – 21] clearly indicates the path to future progress. John’s version of the Gospel places repeated emphasis on Jesus as THE light …. the light which enlightens every person {1:9}. Jesus himself insists “I am the light of the world”{8:12}. This Sunday we are reminded “that the light has come into the world” but another fact is also emphasised – “and men loved darkness rather than light.” Perhaps this last phrase is better rendered by the translation which states – “but men preferred darkness to light.” Is our preference fine-tuned to light, THE light? We return to the question – WHO IS THE BOSS?

When we forget the sovereignty of God, we turn off the light. In the darkness we stumble around and usually end up walking into something and

(ouch!) breaking a toe – or worse! As our Psalm reminds us – we cannot sing to the Lord on foreign soilDarkness is foreign soil.

Today’s Gospel reading contains the basic recipe. “He who does what is true comes to light.” We have to come not so much into the light but, rather,


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