And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he began to speak and taught them, saying:’ (Matthew 4:25-5:2).

In Matthew chapter 4, Jesus is on the way. From his temptation in the wilderness (4:1-11); from Nazareth to Capernaum (4:13-17); to his time along the Sea of Galilee (4:18), Jesus is on the move. But then Jesus stops, heads up a mountain, sits down, and shares the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:28).

For those of us who are participating in 2023 Year of Story Daily Bible Reading Guide, we will be spending the next five weeks reading through both the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49). Jesus will be our guide and companion for this sacred journey.

This Wednesday, February 22, we begin the Lenten journey with Ash Wednesday. In the Ash Wednesday Liturgy, the presiding minister extends an Invitation to Lent. The conclusion of the Lenten Invitation includes these words, “I invite you, therefore, to the discipline of Lent—self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love—strengthened by the gifts of word and sacrament”.

My prayer is that you will be strengthened by God’s gifts of word and sacrament, as we daily ponder the teachings of Jesus and are regularly nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus during Lenten worship. May the crucified and risen Jesus will be your Lenten guide and companion on this sacred journey.

2023 Daily Bible Reading Guide