Psalm 119:137-144 Exodus 1:15-21 Romans 16:1-6 Luke 10:38-42
Today’s readings are some of the most well known texts in the Bible, including the story of Mary and Martha and a psalm of David. Many of us can recite these word for word.
As I read these texts I started asking myself if there was something else that the words might be telling us. With familiar Bible readings, though we hear them again and again, we don’t always listen—and we can miss new insights they have to offer.
As a teacher, I have tools that I use to help students who, like us, struggle to understand passages of text. One of my favorites is Wordle, which creates a visual display of the most frequent words in any passage of text. So I used Wordle on our four readings, hoping that together they might offer insights that I missed when hearing them separately. And I think they do.
For while these stories might be individually very familiar to us, they have common words: blessed, God, heart, judgment, leads, life, Lord, and whatever. Through these words came a powerful reminder of God’s unfailing love for us, telling us that—whatever life leads us to—God without judgment blesses us when the Lord is in our hearts.
This Lent, may we keep the Lord in our hearts—and keep those hearts open to the new insights in this season’s familiar scriptures.