Lenten Devotional: March 12

Psalm 8; Psalm 24; Psalm 29; Psalm 84;
Jeremiah 1:1-10
; 1 Corinthians 3:11-23;
Mark 3:31-4:9

The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor. Psalm 29:4

I was intrigued when I read today’s gospel passage in Mark 3:31-4:9 as to why these two gospel sections were combined for today’s reading. At first glance, the well-known parable of the sower seemed unconnected to the story of Jesus’ kin coming for what we would call today “an intervention” (3:31-35).

For me, they are connected by how we are in relationship with God and the word of God. It is God’s word, and how we act on it, that is the thread that runs through today’s psalms, Old Testament, epistle, and gospel reading. The psalms praise the mighty ways of God, his word and kingdom. Jeremiah is given God’s words to speak to God’s people. Paul talks about a foundation that rests on God. Is that foundation built on rocky soil and will crumble when adversity comes, or is it built on good soil, where it can weather adversity?

The opening verses of Jeremiah where God calls Jeremiah, and his response of saying he is not worthy, is not good enough, is a common one for the prophets, a common response of mine. In the parable of the sower, Jesus is calling me to hear and spread God’s word, to be like good soil, and allow God’s word to penetrate my hard-heartedness, my reluctance, the myriad distractions of modern life so that it will take hold, it will bear abundantly, a hundredfold! And Jesus reassures me that if God’s word finds a place to grow and bear fruit, that when I do God’s will, I am in kinship with Jesus, I am part of God’s family.

Happy are the people whose strength is in you! *
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way. Psalm 84:4