Today’s Lectionary Reading includes Deuteronomy 9:13-21 which refers to the Israelites’ sin of worshipping the Golden Calf. I found the associated devotional from Trinity School for Ministry’s Lenten Devotional Series to be really helpful and relevant.
Here’s an excerpt:
More recently, I’ve realized the the Hebrews did not worship the calf instead of the Lord. Rather, Aaron encouraged the people to honor the tangible golden calf along with yhwh; the revelry around the calf was part of a Hebrew-devised feast to the Lord (Ex 32:5). Their idolatry was not the blatant substitution of the human-made image for the Living God, but an insidious attempt to add their own effort to the gift of God’s grace. I mourn that all too often I do the same, longing to contribute my self-righteousness to the salvation that God gives me through the Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer this Lent is that the Holy Spirit will both convict me anew of my desire to save myself and increase my thankfulness for the salvation He has worked for me.
Gracious Lord, bring us to the deepest depths, mourning like Moses each time You confront us with our sin. And then raise us again to new life in the joy of a reconciled relationship with You, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Rev. Jan Wiley Dantone (MDiv 2006, DMin Student)
Associate Rector, St. John the Divine, Houston, TX