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Lenten Devotions

Lenten devotion 2015

March 16, 2015

Daily Scripture Readings for Lent 2015

Romans 7:1-12, John 6:1-15

If you have a few minutes, read through John chapter 6. It starts with a large crowd following Jesus because they see him do signs and heal people. At the end some of Jesus’ disciples (not the 12 disciples, but some of Jesus’ followers) quit being disciples.

From the beginning of the chapter to the end, it reminds me of the children’s book, “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie.” If you remember that story you know a little boy gives a mouse a cookie, then the mouse asks for a glass of milk, then he asks for a straw to drink the milk, then he asks for a mirror so he won’t get a milk mustache….on it goes until the mouse asks for another glass of milk and a cookie to go with it.

In John chapter 6, a large crowd follows Jesus because they saw him do signs and heal people. That leads Jesus to ask how are we going to feed all these people? That leads to the little boy with five barley loaves and two fish. That leads to Jesus’ miraculous feeding of 5,000 people. That leads to the large crowd following Jesus around the Sea of Galilee again. That leads to Jesus saying, now you’re just looking for something to eat. That leads to the crowds asking, show us another sign. That leads to Jesus saying, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” That leads to the crowd asking, what’s he talking about? On it goes until many of them say, this is too hard for us to understand, let’s go somewhere else.

I wonder if sometimes we might be guilty of chasing Jesus around, looking for something, but we don’t even know what. We’re like a mouse given a cookie. Maybe we chase Jesus from one church committee meeting to the next; from one important social cause to the next; from one important building project to the next; from one news report about another church to the next; from one potential new member to the next; from one congregation to the next; from one presbytery vote to the next; from this to that to this to that to this to that. Until we get tired and just quit looking for Jesus all together. Let’s just enjoy the beautiful weather and relax.

Jesus looked at his twelve disciples and said, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

I’m ready to quit chasing and know what Peter knows. “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Prayer: Lord help me to stop running around from one thing to the next. Help me to hear your words of eternal life – for you are the Holy One of God.

Dan DeBevoise