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Lenten Devotions

Lenten devotion 2015

March 19, 2015

Daily Scripture Readings for Lent 2015

Jeremiah 22:13-23, Romans 8:12-27, John 6:41-51

Have you ever heard someone say, “Its time to have a come to Jesus meeting”?

I suppose what we mean by “come to Jesus meeting”, is that we are going to address something head on, we’re going to speak forthrightly, we are going to speak the truth to someone who has been ignoring it. We are generally talking about a confrontation. It doesn’t sound like a pleasant meeting.

Maybe we should really say, “Its time to have a come to Jeremiah meeting.” Read Jeremiah 22:13-23. Jeremiah is talking about King Josiah of Judah and his sons. Whew! He doesn’t pull any punches.

13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,
and his upper rooms by injustice;
who makes his neighbors work for nothing,
and does not give them their wages;
14 who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house
with large upper rooms’,
and who cuts out windows for it,
panelling it with cedar,
and painting it with vermilion.

17 But your eyes and heart
are only on your dishonest gain,
for shedding innocent blood,
and for practising oppression and violence.

Jeremiah says nobody will be weeping and wailing when King Jehoiakim dies. Instead, they will bury him like a donkey, dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

A “come to Jesus meeting” sounds a little different. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:48,51) Is coming to Jesus like being given a delicious piece of warm bread?

How do we come to Jesus? Why in the world would we protray that as something harsh, caustic, confrontational?

Maybe we project our own anger, frustration, anxiety, and grief onto Jesus as though the only way Jesus can deal with people is the same way we do. You better watch out or I’m going to lay a come to Jesus meeting on you. That person’s obstinance mean’s I have to set them straight, i.e., get my way.

How do we come to Jesus? Or how does Jesus come to us? Isn’t he much more
gracious and invitational – “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.” “I am the bread of life.”

Paul describes it like this: We are adopted children of God, redeemed. We aren’t slaves to our past or enchained to fear. God searches our hearts. Jesus helps us in our weakness. The Spirit prays in us, for us, and through us. We come to God by means of God’s loving embrace.

In that case, don’t you want to have a “come to Jesus meeting” today?

Prayer: Lord help me to come to you today…on your terms, not mine.

Dan DeBevoise