Thursday, March 30, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 26, Thursday

Today's Reading: John 12:20-50 (NRSV)

Red-letter editions of the Bible highlight the words of Jesus in color.  If you look at a red-letter edition, you will notice that there is a lot more red in John than in any of the other gospels.  As John's writing was later than the other three, we can see the early church shaping how he told it.

While all of the gospels help to define the identity of Jesus, we can see the salvation of the world motif more clearly understood in John.  Within the other gospels, especially in Mark which was the earliest, we see less talk and more action.  Within John, the action such as the raising of Lazarus or the anointing of Jesus or the entry into Jerusalem is punctuated with speeches.  Within today's reading, we see a strong emphasis on the belief of the individual.

In fact, when some Greeks come to meet Jesus, we see in verse 32 that Jesus claims that he "will draw all people to myself."  This becomes a more universal appeal for salvation than a Messiah elevating a single country politically.   What's interesting is that the notation for this verse indicates that other manuscripts replaced the word "people" with "things."  With this simple word change, the emphasis for those early churches that heard this particular text would embrace not only the salvation of humanity but the salvation of creation in Jesus Christ.
This skinny bear is emerging from hibernation.
Its Lenten fast has ended!

How does this change our notion of who Jesus is when we think about him in this expanded way?  We can see how the resurrection and the life come each spring without our tending to it.  What does it mean for us to insert a sense of spirituality into the natural world?

As a follower of Jesus, what is our role in relation to people and creation?

Prayer for the day:

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, 
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.  Amen.

     Gloria Patri, 3rd-4th century

Photo by Micheal J via  Used under the Creative Commons license.

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