05 Feb Reading Scriptures During Lent
For those of you who follow the weekly scripture readings in the, you will have noticed that with Lent underway, the appointed readings are very different. Normally, we read each day from one of the Epistles and one of the four Gospels. During lent, at least from Monday through Friday, we shift away from the Epistles and Gospel to readings from the Old Testament. During Lent, we will read from Genesis, Isaiah and Proverbs and during Holy Week, from Exodus, Ezekiel and Job. This shows us the importance of the Old Testment to our lives as Orthodox Christians. It serves us well to be familiar with the whole of Salvation History and the time in which the world was prepared for the coming of Christ. There are three readings each day to represent the three categories of Old Testament books: historical books (Genesis and Exodus); prophets (Isaiah and Ezekiel); Wisdom literature; (Proverbs and Job). All of these books also are very appropriate for the lenten season, which is why the Church, in her wisdom, has chosen them. The following descriptions are taken from the introduction to the book, The Lenten Triodion.
1-Genesis describes the fall of man and his explusion from Paradise. The later chapters of Genesis tell the tory of Joseph, who in his innocent sufferings serves as a “type” of Christ.
2-In the lessons from Exodus, Moses foreshadows Christ, the Old Passover anticipates the New and the crossing of the Red Sea prefigures the redemptive death and the rising of the Savior.
3-The book of Isaiah begins with an appeal for repentance and fasting.
4-The readings from Ezekiel speak of God’s glory–the glory that is also manifested through the Cross and the Resurrection.
5-The ethical instruction in Proverbs reminds us that Lent is a time for moral effort.
6-The patient sufferings of Job and his final vindication point forward to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.
I hope that you will take the time to add these daily readings to your Lenten “routine”. In understanding why they are assigned and how they relate to Christ and His Resurrection, I am certain they will add to your Lenten experience.