David Roberts, lithograph, The Approach to Mount Sinai, 1839
Station One: The Assurance of Hope
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
If you felt you couldn't risk failure, test hunches, experiment with working hypotheses, you'd never change for the good. Even on the path of righteousness we make mistakes, succumbing to diversions and distractions and wrong choices. But God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. -Psalm 103:8
Jesus' parable of the Lost Sheep inspires hope and confidence.
Holy One, come to my aid.
Guide me, inspire me, instruct me, protect me, be with me as I go out and as I return. Amen
A Story of Comfort and Hope
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."
So he told them this parable:
"Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.