Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Tuesday, February 16 Read Genesis 4:1-16

The Lord put a mark on Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Genesis 4:15-16

Amazing Grace

I have always been a fan of broad open-ended questions. They help me hone in on what it is that I believe. I often find myself reflecting on questions like, “What is life all about?” or “Who is God?”

I have another broad question for you. What does it mean to be in the season of Lent? There are no right or wrong answers because it is a very personal season. For me, Lent is a time of personal reflection – looking inward and recognizing what brings joy or sadness, clarity or confusion, or what causes us to sin or show God’s love to the world. Sometimes these things are easy to see because we all are sinners living in a broken world.

In Genesis 4, Cain commits the first murder – of his brother, Abel. God comes to Cain and asks where Abel is. Cain lies, but God already knows what happened. Cain accepts his punishment, knowing that he is cursed. But Cain also believes that the curse will continue until someone he meets takes his life – an eye for an eye, as the Jewish law instructs.

God tells him that is not the case. His life will be spared. It’s an act of grace from God despite Cain’s sinful life – envy, murder and lies, to name a few of his sins in the presence of God.

Lent is a time of personal reflection for the sins we have committed in the presence of God, a time that we can see what wrong we have done. I don’t know if it is reassuring to you or slightly irritating, but we cannot make up for the wrong we have done. It is through the grace of God that we find our redemption.

Lent is a time when we can reflect on our sins but look toward the cross, knowing that God loves humanity enough to bless us with the ultimate forgiveness through Christ Jesus. God shows grace and love to all, even when we, like Cain, don’t deserve it. May you find peace this Lent knowing that all your sins, big or small, are forgiven, and God loves you despite your mistakes.

Austin English
Senior at Trinity Lutheran Seminary

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