Lent 2014 - Fourth Sunday of Lent - March 30th


Scripture Reading for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 30th

Reading: John 6:27-40

I am the Bread of Life

We held out our hands with palms upturned. We hoped with all of our being that on our fingers something life-giving would be placed. Yahweh delivered! The God of our forefathers provided us with a life-sustaining food amidst the wilderness and because of that we could make it one more day.

Bread is more than a food item to the Hebrew people. Bread is the very symbol of God's presence and provision for his chosen. As followers of Christ we are co-heirs in the covenant begun in Abraham, signed in Moses, and Revealed perfectly in Jesus Christ. It is of no small significance then that Jesus described himself as the 'Bread of Life'.

To be in covenant with God is to be in relationship with the God who provides for his people. To be a follower of Jesus Christ then is to take part in God's provision of eternal life for all who would simply believe in him and follow him into covenant as one of his chosen people.

We can hold to closely to the work of our own hands, the bread bought at the local store; but in that lose site of God's provision. Soon our hands no longer turn towards heaven, and instead dive into our own pocket books. To believe in God is to trust him not just with all the we have, but for all that we will gain. All good things, after all, come from our father who loves us.

Questions for Reflection or Journaling

  • What are your trusting God to do in your life?
  • Do you trust your own ability alone, or do you trust God with your life?


Father, turn our eyes and hands towards you. Certainly you have blessed us to bless others. Let us never forget though that you are the ultimate source of our provision.


Lent 2014 - Saturday, March 29th

Scripture Reading for Saturday, March 29th

Reading: Luke 18:9-14

Upside Down

You have heard it said before, and will hear it said again. The Kingdom of God does not work in the same way our world does. We live in a world of YouTube and 24 hour news cycles. To be seen is to have existed. In western culture many live in fear of obscurity. To be unnoticed is a fate worse than death. We seek meaning through how and whether others are talking not just talking to us but about us. Our age is one of narcissism.

Certainly our use of technology adds its own spin to our culture of 'being seen' and yet the core human fear of not being noticed was a strong one in the ancient world. To be known was, and is today, to have some tiny bit of power and those in the ancient world sought it out every bit as much as we do today.

To be part of God's kingdom is to recede into the background, to become less and less so that he becomes greater and greater. We are justified in our existence not by the accolades of others, but by the presence of God's abiding Holy Spirit in our life and deeds. The greatest Christians of all, are people you have probably never even heard of, and never will this side of heaven.

Questions for Reflection or Journaling

  • What is your motivation for being 'seen'?
  • What act of service can you do today, that you might never be noticed for?


Lord, may it only ever be your face we seek. All that we do is, and should be, only for your eyes, and only for your ears. We ask that you place us where your need us so that your name would be made great!


Lent 2014 - Thursday March, 27th

Scripture Reading for Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reading: Mark 6:30-46

You Give Them Something to Eat

I have seen a misconception at work in the church, and it centers around human work. The core belief is that beause of our sin-bent nature as humans we are somehow useless. We are certainly incapable of many things,and we can't earn our salvation, but if we are so useless then I am not sure why God brought us about in the first place.

What began with Adam was the work of stewarding the creation in which God had cultivated and molded us. Sin has tainted that work begun; however it has not ended God's command of stewardship. God made humans to work alongside him for the betterment of his creation. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that when faced with a hungry crowd to feed Jesus didn't roll up his sleeves, shout out to the crowd, and ask them for some bread and fish. Instead, Jesus said to his discples, "you give them something to eat."

We aren't useless; rather God often looks to us to carry out his plans. He can do it on his own, he is God after all, but God chooses to work through us, his creation, precicesly because in that work he gives us the opportunity to take part in God's kingdom of grace, and to share in his abbundance.

Questions for Reflection or Journaling

  • How have you responded to God in the past when he asked you to do something? How did the experience turn out?
  • What is God asking you to do today?


Father in Heaven, thank you today for including us in the work of your Kingdom. You are the provider of the harvest, and you reward us with its abundance. Guide is today into your will and bless our work in your name.


Lent 2014 - Wednesday, March 26th

Scripture Reading for Wednesday, March 26

Reading: Matthew 5:17-20


Christians can often forget that our Christ, Jesus, was born into a Jewish context. He lived, ate, and obeyed the laws and faith of the Hebrew people. As fully God and man, he had come to fulfill the promises of scripture begun in Genesis, and in that fulfillment to also extend God's plan of salvation so that everyone could become his special people through belief in Jesus Christ.

There is a misconception, that before Jesus, God only sought to save the Israelites; however even a quick reading of the Old Testament will show that God wasn't just in the business of saving the Hebrew people; rather through the Hebrew people God brought about the salvation of other nations. Jonah's reluctant witness brought the Ninevites to repentance. The actions of Daniel in the heart of Babylon brought about repentance. These and many more stories show us that the Israelites weren't just meant to be saved for their own sake. Rather God intended to use them as means of revealing his glory and his holy nature to all of the nations of the world and call all of the world to repentance.

The work of Jesus then wasn't to squash what God had done before an to start it all over again; rather what Jesus Christ has done is make it so that even non-Israelites can become part of God's witnessing people to a world in need of salvation.

Some believe that our salvation is personal. By this I mean that we have been taught by our culture often that our faith is only to be lived out as a personal experience. Certainly God saves us, he provides a means for us to live with him in eternity; but his salvation isn't just for that reason. Just as we talked about God's forgiveness extending through us, God also intends that our faith would be a sign and pointer to the need for repentance in the lives of others. As God's holy people we are the light on the hill pointing people towards God, and that is not something to be kept personal.

Questions for Reflection or Journaling

  • What does it mean to you that, if you follow Christ, you aren't just saved for yourself?
  • How are you letting God use you as a sign and pointer towards himself?


God in heaven, show us today how we can be a point of light in the darkness as we reflect the glory of your son, Jesus Christ. Provide us with the strength today to step out into our world as signs and pointers towards you. Help us proclaim today the need for repentance, not for our glory God, but for yours.


Lent 2014 - Tuesday, March 25th


Scripture Reading for Tuesday, March 25

Reading: Matthew 18:21-35

The Burden of Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be one of the hardest tasks we do as humans. When we are wronged it can feel good to hold onto the hurt and to withhold forgiveness because it gives us an edge over the other person. To be wronged, is to own a debt, and to have debts owed to us can often become a source of pride. We can rack up the wrongs of others into a collection so large that it begins to consume us until all we are is a walking museum of the hurts of our lives. Is that a healthy thing?

The short answer is no, it isn't.

In his book Great Expectations the author Charles Dickens writes of Ms. Havisham, a spurned bride. Her mansion sits unchanged from that fateful day; the tables sit decorated with settings in place for a feast, the cake is in place, and the ball-room cleared for dancing; however dust, rot, and decay permeate nearly every setting. Ms. Havisham wears a wedding dress worn to tatters. She is unable to forgive her lost love and feeds her wounded identity through her ward Estella, a beautiful young woman groomed to break men's hearts.

We all know one or two Ms. Havishams. People embittered by a life of hurt, consumed in their own self-pity. Certainly there is a better way for us than that. Jesus tells us that the way forward is forgiveness. To move past our hurts, not for the sake of others but for our own sakes. God expects that his gift of forgiveness would extend past us and to those that have wronged us as well. The wicked servants undoing in our passage was his unwillingness to extend the forgiveness of the king to his fellow servant.

Questions for Reflection or Journaling

  • How have you been hurt?
  • Have you forgiven those who have hurt you? Why or Why Not?
  • What does it mean that the forgiveness we extend starts in God, and not in us?


Father in heaven. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that sin against us.