Sunday, March 8, 2015

Daily Devotion for the Third Sunday in Lent 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent

March 8, 2015, Third Sunday in Lent

Mark 7:1-23 (NRSV)

As Steve Miller once said, "Somebody, get me a
cheeseburger!"  Not kosher, though if you
are eating by Jewish Law.
Christians today are not very concerned about the dietary laws.  They seem rather antiquated and we often look to passages like today's or Peter's vision in Acts to justify why we're going to Red Lobster.

At the time, Jesus seems to be making a priority for laws of compassion over laws of holiness.

As we consider our relationship with God and our relationship with our neighbor, Jesus definitely wants the latter to flow from the former.  If we love God, this should translate into how we're treating our neighbor.

As we consider our own disciplines during Lent, I am hopeful that we are thinking about how these are shaping us.  We don't just give up sweets to lose weight.  It should be primarily spiritual in nature or it is only a diet in disguise.

I'm reminded of the old joke:

A priest was walking toward his parish, bundled against the cold when he felt a gun in his back.

"Give me your wallet!"

As the priest opened his coat to get his wallet, the thief observed his clerical collar.

"Oh, no!  Father, I didn't realize it was you.  I'm sorry, please put away your wallet.  I would never steal from the church."

As the priest was shaken up, he offered the would-be criminal a cigar.

"Oh, not for me, Father.  I gave those up for Lent!"

Getting a handle on our behavior and what is driving it is a key focus for us for Lent.  As you review the list of sins in verses 21-22 from today's reading, which one is your trouble spot?

Prayer from Saint Augustine of Hippo:

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of your brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of your wisdom.
All our desire is known unto you,
therefore perfect what you have begun,
and what your Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek your face,
turn your face unto us and show us your glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.

Prayer from Saint Augustine of Hippo, Africa, 5th Century

Photo by By Thogru (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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