READINGOld Testament: Jeremiah 11:1-8, 14-20
Psalms: Psalms 88
New Testament: Romans 6:1-11
Gospel: John 8:33-47
Evening Psalms: Psalms 91, 92
DEVOTIONALReadings like the ones assigned for today can be challenging. When sin and its consequences are presented in such a straightforward way, and when common frustrations with prayer as our main means of communication are described so eloquently, it can leave me, living in our complicated world, feeling quite inadequate to the task of being a committed Christian.
Like the other brother in the Prodigal Son story, I’ve always been a “good girl,” and I’ve often found myself a little envious of people who seemed to be having so much fun being bad. It’s a little frustrating to be told that I’m supposed to be as penitent for envy as someone who has broken every rule in the book with a song in their heart.
I have things for which I have fervently prayed (sometimes for years) that don’t seem to get any response. Is it meant to be a test of my faith?
Especially when I pray for things that seem to have come easily to others, it is easy to relate to the lament we read today. Watching (and being very glad for) friends who have children, jobs they love, great health, and much more when my own prayers for the same go seemingly unanswered can be incredibly painful.
My prayer is that I meet these challenges by finding the strength of character to trust in God’s love. Father Rob has preached that many of us waste time working to prop up an image of who we think we should be versus being brave enough to embrace who we are, trusting that God’s love for us proves that we have something to offer the world. I believe that the gift God gives us out of this love is forgiveness from sin for all those who believe and truly repent; that trusting God’s love for us ensures forgiveness is possible for sins -- heinous and petty alike. For me, working toward that trust makes me strive to be more committed to my faith in our complicated world.
Lord Jesus, as I walk your journey of sacrifice, may I be brave enough to trust in the power of your Father’s love in my own life. Thank you for the forgiveness you made possible, giving me the chance to make mistakes, take risks and still have the security and joy of knowing I am a part of your family. Amen.