Saturday, March 11, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 10 Saturday

Today's Reading: John 5:19-29 (NRSV)

To be honest, I sometimes find myself needing to re-read a passage from John.  He tends to get a little repetitive when we are outside of the narrative and I find I am not really reading it.

If you ever read a red-letter edition of the Bible, you can see the difference in the verbosity of Jesus in John as opposed to the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).  However, this does not mean that Jesus is not worth paying attention to in John's portrayal.  It may be that a phrase or particular statement stands out for you in a particular context in your life.  The next time you read it, you may take notice of something else entirely that escaped your attention before.

Sometimes life can seem like a grave and
we need Christ to reset our spirits.
What struck me in particular this time was in verse 25 when Jesus speaks of the dead hearing the voice of the Son of God and living.  Then if you were confused about how literal this might be, he follows it up with those "who are in their graves" hearing his voice.

This could be interpreted as the belief that Jesus "descended to the dead" within the Apostles' Creed. Traditionally, this is seen as occurring after Jesus dies on the cross and before he is resurrected from the dead.

But we are also allowed to perceive this metaphorically.  It may be similar to the vision of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones.  There are times when we are "dead" even in life. There are times when we need to rise from our graves.

Sometimes we may not even realize that there is a cloud over our lives.  We may be a little depressed and not even know it.  However, when we are released from it, we can tell the difference!

May you find the living Christ speaking to you today in a way that gives you life!

Prayer for the day:

The risen, living Christ calls us by our name;
   comes to the loneliness within us;
   heals that which is wounded within us;
   comforts that which grieves within us;
   releases us from that which has dominion over us;
   cleanses us of that which does not belong to us;
   renews that which feels drained within us;
   awakens that which is asleep in us;
   names that which is still formless within us;
   empowers that which is newborn within us;
   consecrates and guides that which is strong within us;
   restores us to this world which needs us;
   reaches out in endless love to others through us.
The risen, living Christ calls us by our name.

Prayer from by Flora Slosson Wuellner featured in The Upper Room Worship Book, (c) 1989 Upper Room Books.

Photo by Snebtor via  Used under the Creative Commons license.

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