First Sunday in Lent — 17 February

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.

Lectionary readings (Click the links to see the readings):
Deuteronomy 26.1-11 | Psalm 91.1-2,9-16 | Romans 10.4-13 | Luke 4.1-15

When life has become routine


Lord, when I woke up this morning, I said to myself that this would be a day just like every other day. And it was.

I took the same tube train as every morning, I read the same comments in the paper on an international situation which never changes. I went up the same staircase as usual, and on my desk I found the same piles of papers to go through—papers which have been exactly the same for almost ten years. The porter was the same and so was the supervisor. They looked just as they usually do; they had that blank expression which says that nothing new is going to happen today.

For lunch I had the same old thing to eat. It was Monday. I went back to my desk until five o'clock. And then I just came home, knowing full well that tomorrow it will start all over again.

God, I'm tired of it all. I had hoped for something completely different. I had dreamed that some day I would lead an active and exciting life. That was a dream. Yet it can be painful to wake up from a dream. I'll never be anything but what I am. I know that some people would be happy in my situation. True. But that doesn't help my fatigue and boredom.

Lord, let me talk to you tonight about my fatigue, about my desire to get away from here. To whom can I speak about this, if not to you? Nobody understands. They say, "What is he complaining about?" And perhaps they are right. It's only normal that you do your job. Therefore I shall talk about it only with you.

Don't change anything. My life doesn't have to change. I must change. Lord, help me to think less about myself. Help me to see that there are other people besides myself for whom today is just like every other day.

—Paul Geres. Prayers for impossible days, tr. from French by Lucien Jerphagon. Revised edition. Augsburg Books, 2001.

Lent 2013
"Lord, I am nothing but dust and ashes!"—Prayer of the Owl.

Psalm 91 sung by the Sons of Korah.

Another, more formal, version: Psalm 91 in traditional Anglican Chant. Choir of Westminster Abbey.

May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church, cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602