Thursday, March 9, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 8 Thursday

Today's Reading: John 4:43-54 (NRSV)

Jesus declares in verse 48, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe."  It is interesting that the Greek form of "you" is plural in both instances in this sentence.  An Oklahoma translation of this might read, "Unless you all see signs and wonders you all will not believe."

Because within this passage, John has Jesus speaking to all of us in a way.

We would like to have faith and to trust but it may be that we've been burned too many times to fully trust without proof.

The miracles are a way of God's grace touching the world in a tangible way.  It is interesting that this healing occurs in the same locale as the first miracle of water turning to wine.  The first miracle involves the spreading of joyous celebration.  This miracle moves toward wholeness of life.

Sometimes our natures correspond with
God's nature and we seek to share generously.
It feels good when others respond, doesn't it?
These speak to us of God who wants us to embrace the goodness of this life.  Can we truly embrace this belief if we do not encounter signs and wonders of our own?  Or does our faith allow us to see signs and wonders where others only see coincidences or chance fortuitousness?

This is not meant as a crass understanding that God's blessings come only to those deserving few but that the grace of God spills over into all life if we have eyes to see.

Maybe seeing and believing are mutually reinforcing for us.  One may lead to the other, leading to the enrichment of our lives in a deeper, spiritual way.

The prayer for the day that I feature is from the first century and reminds us of the kind of world in which God is interested:

We beseech you, Master, to be our helper and protector.
Save the afflicted among us; have mercy on the lowly;
raise up the fallen; appear to the needy; heal the ungodly;
restore the wanderers of your people;
feed the hungry; ransom our prisoners;
raise up the sick; comfort the faint-hearted.  Amen.

                          Clement of Rome, First Century

Photo by hasib via  Used under the Creative Commons license.

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