Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 1 Ash Wednesday

Today's Reading: John 1:1-18 (NRSV)

John's Gospel is very different from Matthew, Mark and Luke.  The language and structure are different.  While most scholars believe that Matthew and Luke patterned their writings off of Mark's Gospel, John speaks in a different style.

The ashes we receive can also remind us of the darkness
we have within us.  Our faith reminds us that
the darkness does not overcome the light.
As we read John, we will notice grand, sweeping themes emerge.  In Mark, the Gospel begins with the baptism of Jesus.  Matthew and Luke determine that the Good News begins with the birth narratives.  John seems to state that this doesn't go back far enough.  Here we begin with Creation!

If you read the first chapter of Genesis, you will see similarities.

I like the themes of light and darkness that are presented in John.  These are certainly appropriate themes for the Lenten season as we wrestle with light and darkness within our own lives.

Where are those dark places in your life that you may need to examine?  Just as John states that "his own people did not accept him" in verse 11, where are places in your life that you may still need to accept Jesus?

As we journey with Jesus to the cross, it is appropriate for us to consider our own lives in the light of Jesus.  There are parts of our lives that we may accept Jesus wholeheartedly. If we are honest with ourselves, there are also places where we may compartmentalize and not really place Jesus as the Lord of our lives.  During this Lenten season, let us examine these and turn these over to God.

Prayer for the day:

Deliver me, O God, from a slothful mind, from all lukewarmness, and all dejection of spirit.  I know these cannot but deaden my love to you; mercifully free my heart from them, and give me a lively, zealous, active, and cheerful spirit; that I may vigorously perform whatever you command, thankfully suffer whatever you choose for me, and be ever ardent to obey in all things your holy love.  Amen.

                                                     Prayer by John Wesley, Anglican Priest, 1703-1791

Photo by louis r via  Used under the Creative Commons license.  

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