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1Peter 3:18-22 (CEB)

18 Christ himself suffered on account of sins, once for all, the righteous one on behalf of the unrighteous. He did this in order to bring you into the presence of God. Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit. 19 And it was by the Spirit that he went to preach to the spirits in prison. 20 In the past, these spirits were disobedient—when God patiently waited during the time of Noah. Noah built an ark in which a few (that is, eight) lives were rescued through water. 21 Baptism is like that. It saves you now—not because it removes dirt from your body but because it is the mark of a good conscience toward God. Your salvation comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at God’s right side. Now that he has gone into heaven, he rules over all angels, authorities, and powers.


Three parts of this scripture deserve noting:

First, Christ suffered and was put to death to take our place. God sent his son so that we might be reconciled back to God. Secondly, during the time of Noah, this same God made a covenant to never again flood the earth. The earth and its inhabitants were rescued through the water because of Noah’s faithfulness. In the New Testament, this is shown as reminiscent of the waters of baptism, because the waters remind us of the cleansing of our hearts. Thirdly, through our reconciliation, our minds are set on the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Peter’s argument is cyclical: Christ died for us. Because of this, we want to be reconciled –cleansed by water in the spirit– to then live a life like Christ. I think about the complete circle of faith that is our salvation. It begins and ends, and throughout its middle, is about God’s covenant with us.

We are reminded of the season of Lent. Through Lent, we return to our reconciliation with God. We do not need to be re-baptized. We do not need to ask again and again for our salvation. But we do return to what and Who has called us. We return again to be renewed and reminded of God’s love. We return again to know how we got here and how we need to readjust to our new lives in Christ. And then we are refreshed in Him.

As I write tonight, I am reminded of a song I learned on a women’s weekend retreat while backpacking in Pennsylvania. The song was a soothing chant written by Shaina Noll, called Return Again. (Please skip the ad. The song is also attached below.) During the rainy weekend, we spent time reflecting on our spiritual journeys, how far we had come, and how returning to the woods or nature can bring us back to our beginnings. As we hiked and chanted, we attended to the needs of our bodies and listened to the internal voice from within. When we reflected as a group, we learned to chant the words below. I cannot think of a better reminder for this season of Lent.

Return again, return again.

Return to the land of your land of your soul.

Return to what you are.

Return to who you are.

Return to where you are born and reborn, again….

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

1 Peter 3 reminds us of the covenant that God makes with each of us. In Lent, we renew our commitment to Our Lord because of this covenant. Take time to listen to this musical chant below: Return Again, by Shaina Noll. Let it be reminiscent of our Lenten journey.

Prayer: Holy God, grant us a meaningful, holy Lent as we seek to return again to life renewed by Your unending love and grace. Amen.