Sunday, April 2, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Fifth Sunday in Lent

Today's Reading: John 14:1-14 (NRSV)

We understand atmospheric conditions
and storms are still scary today.  Imagine
what they would have been like before meteorology?
Even before human history began, people sought out the spiritual.  We wanted some kind of connection with God. Much of the time, our perception of the spiritual world was fearful.  Natural disasters were not explained by science but by the anger of the gods.  Illness might in fact be caused by demonic forces rather than germs.

In Jesus, the early church came to identify a human being in which we could know God.  For Christians seeking to know God's will, we look to the actions of Jesus. Although "What Would Jesus Do" became a fad during the 1990's (WWJD bracelets, anyone?), the question does represent the important touchstone for people seeking to be faithful to ask of themselves when facing a decision.

In order to answer this question, one must know what Jesus said and did.  Who did Jesus hang out with?  What customs did he follow and which ones was he willing to disrupt?

If Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we may have mistaken this for something that only holds sway after this life is over.  This may not be entirely our fault as the first piece of the passage is a favorite to read at funerals and is comforting in general.

However, to only see the dwelling places as otherworldly may cause us to miss out on the blessings that are possible through following Jesus within this life.  How else can we account for Jesus saying that those who believe in him will do greater works than he is doing?  We'll never get anything done if we think this only applies on our deathbeds.

As we are only two weeks away from Easter, what kind of significant joy can you grant someone else during this Lenten season?

Prayer for the day:

Gracious Lord, in whom are laid up all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom, direct me in the ways of life; remove from me the ways of death.  Give me a soft and meek spirit, that I may help the succorless, and comfort the comfortless.  O my dear Lord, pardon me for the neglect of this duty, and make me to redeem the time with a cheerful constancy—Amen.

      The Penitent Pilgrim, 1641.

Photo by texaus1 via  Used under the Creative Commons license.


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