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Lenten Devotions

Lenten devotion 2015

March 7, 2015    

Daily Scripture Readings for Lent 2015

Jeremiah 5:20-31, Romans 3:19-31

Lent is a time to think about the truth. So it began with the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday and the statement, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” A truthful reminder of our mortality and our dependence on God for the gift of life.

It seems odd that we would need a season of truthfulness. When is the truth not in season? We should be truthful all the time. But the truth is we aren’t. We spend a lot of time being untruthful with ourselves, with each other, and in society at large.

Try this; run a google search on the phrase “the truth about”. I got 398,000,000 results. That tells me there is a lot we think we need to clarify with the truth.

Jeremiah and the other prophets were big on telling the truth. “Thus saith the Lord” usually meant, “Get ready to hear the truth about yourselves.” The prophetic truth often included, you’ve forgotten who God is and have put yourselves in the place of God. Or to summarize:  God is God and you’re not.

22 Do you not fear me? says the Lord;
Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea,
a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail,
though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
they have turned aside and gone away. (Jeremiah 5:22-23)

Forgetting or ignoring the truth leads to great injustice and suffering in society.

26 For scoundrels are found among my people;
they take over the goods of others.
Like fowlers they set a trap;
they catch human beings.
27 Like a cage full of birds,
their houses are full of treachery;
therefore they have become great and rich,
28 they have grown fat and sleek.
They know no limits in deeds of wickedness;
they do not judge with justice
the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper,
and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?
says the Lord,
and shall I not bring retribution
on a nation such as this? (Jeremiah 5:26-29)

Today, March 7, many people are remembering an event in our nation’s history that began to show the truth about the racism that deeply divided (and continues to divide) our nation: the first attempted march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, that happened 50 years ago.

May the occasions of remembrance, the workshops for justice and reconciliation, the worship that will seek unity and restoration, help us to see and know the truth about God, the truth about ourselves and each other, and the truth about the world. May we know God in order to know the truth.

For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. (Romans 3:22-25)

Lord, show me the truth: the truth about you, the truth about myself, and the truth about others around me.   Help me to know the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice for me and knowing that truth, help me to live sacrificially for others. Amen.  

Dan DeBevoise

Selma to Montgomery March