Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent 2015 Day 1

Lent 2015 Daily Devotion

Day 1 - Ash Wednesday

This year, we will be reading through the entire Gospel of Mark during the season of Lent and through Easter Sunday.  We won't be taking Sundays off so if you do, you may have to double up on Saturdays or Mondays.

My Bible links will use, will open in another tab and will use the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.  The cool thing about Biblegateway is you can also read other translations quite easily from the link.

Mark is the oldest of the Gospels and it will be good to immerse ourselves in the original story of Jesus as people first heard it.

Blessings on your journey to the cross!

Mark 1:1-15 (NRSV)

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness by James Tissot
What stirs me in today's reading is how Mark says in verse 12, "And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness."

Both Matthew and Luke (who base their Gospels on Mark) change the language to say that the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness.  I've always been fascinated by this change of wording (John doesn't have this story).  Did Matthew and Luke have a larger understanding of the Trinity and so wanted Jesus to be more on equal footing?  Or did they want to convey that the Spirit is somehow gentler than what Mark's impression gives us?

How does the Holy Spirit "drive" you to do something that may go against your inclinations?

This prayer was the second verse of a hymn written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his imprisonment by the Nazis for his resistance to Adolf Hitler.  He was killed shortly before the war ended.

Although You give sometimes a cup so bitter;
    With sorrow filled, up to the highest brim;
We thankfully accept it; God has given,
    And only goodness ever comes from Him.
You always want to fill us with Your gladness;
    This worldly glitter burns our weary eyes;
We want to see the way that You have led us,
    And give our life to You, without disguise.

Photo by James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  The original is on display at the Brooklyn Museum.

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