Friday, March 10, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 9 Friday

Today's Reading: John 5:1-18 (NRSV)

Jesus heals one lame man in today's reading out of the large number of troubled people who gathered at this pool daily.  The legend as one can see from the footnotes of verse three is that an angel stirred the waters of the pool from time to time.  Popular belief was that the first one in would be healed.

This man had evidently been coming for a long time.  He had no one to help him into the pool when it first bubbled and so he continued to suffer his ailment.

If he had been lame for 38 years, he would have been considered pretty old for this culture.  He would not have been able to keep himself very clean - even by first century standards.

Jesus asks him the question, "Do you want to be made well?"

We could answer that for him - of course!  Who wouldn't want to be well?

Within The Wizard of Oz, the four characters
all journey to find gifts that they already possess.
Except that sometimes we grow comfortable in our lives, even if we are living in miserable conditions.  When a balance or homeostasis is achieved, it may be difficult to alter it even if it would be to our advantage.

We all have observed other people's lives and thought, "If they would just make a small change here or there, they would be so much better off." And yet they don't.

You'll notice that the man's answer to the question is not a resounding "Yes!"  Rather, he makes excuses for why he is not able to get into the pool.  Now they may be very valid reasons but his answer may give us insight.

As we move into Lent, what if Jesus were to ask you this question?

Do you want to be made well?

We all have things that we could work on in our lives.  It might be helpful for us to pray about them today and discern why it is that we have become comfortable with them.

Prayer for the day:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

      Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, 20th century

Photo by the Mraz Center for the Performing Arts via  Used under the Creative Commons license.  

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