Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 34, Saturday

Today's Reading: John 17:1-26 (NRSV)

What does it mean for Christians to know God or to be "in Christ"?

Much of the time, I will sign my correspondence with the church, "In Christ," as a way of sharing that we are held together by this bond.

One of the chief reminders of this is the forgiveness that we receive and bestow together as a part of our faith.  When I sign it in this way, I mean it to signify an inclusion of those reading it as if "we are all in Christ" rather than an arrogant way, "I am in Christ so you better listen to me."

Sometimes we recognize that other creatures
are also marveling in life they've received!
To know God means to be awestruck periodically as we recognize God's handiwork in the world.  It doesn't mean to presume a privilege but to convey the humility of the Psalmist who writes, "what are human beings that you are mindful of them?" (Psalm 8:4, NRSV).

As we recognize God and we realize the grace we have received, this does not set us apart from those who don't have this same understanding as much as it connects us to them through our compassion.

We see in John today God going into the world as Jesus Christ (at least from a Trinitarian perspective). As we are his disciples, Jesus calls us into the world to go in the same fashion.  Just as Jesus encounters a suffering world and is willing to suffer in solidarity with all humanity, we encounter a suffering world and engage it rather than shrinking from it.

When we do this, we know God.

When we do this, we are in Christ.

Shared pain is more bearable.  We are hopefully helping the world move past bearable and into life!

Prayer for the day:

May the blessing of light be on you - light without and light within. 
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, 
   so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. 
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, 
   like a candle set in the window of a house, 
   bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you, 
   may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
   and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, 
   and sometimes a star. 
And may the blessing of the earth be on you, 
   soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, 
   soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; 
   and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. 
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; 
   up and off and on its way to God. 
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.

      A Scottish blessing from

Photo by Peter Evans via  Used under the Creative Commons license.  You may read his story of how he got this shot under the "Photo" link. 

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