Lenten Devotion: Tuesday, March 17

Psalm 78:1-72Genesis 45:1-151 Corinthians 7:32-40Mark 6:1-13

Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
Mark 6:3-7

The readings for this day are historical accounts with a focus on the events that fulfilled God’s purpose in the lives of the characters such as the Israelites and Jacob. More than anything, these characters demonstrated that with faith, they could fulfill God’s will for their lives.

For us, the Christian life is that fulfillment. With faith, we receive the amazing gift of witnessing Christ’s miracles of grace, especially as they occur through others. Without faith, we might miss these miracles; we might not experience God’s purpose. Isn’t that what happened to the townspeople of Nazareth? They only saw the humanness of Jesus, not the Spirit. They saw Him as “the local boy” and judged Him. They lacked faith and could not see the Spirit in Him, so they missed out.

How often do we fail to focus on the Spirit in others and miss seeing Christ at work? We have all dismissed the homeless person or uneducated service worker only to be surprised at the wisdom and grace of this person who initially went almost unnoticed. With faith, we are looking for that goodness, we are watchful and aware. We receive a response from others, people see God working through us and there is a flow as circumstances work toward the fulfillment of God’s purpose.

The disciples are examples of ultimate faith. They dropped everything because they could see Jesus as more than just human. Perhaps God helped them see it or perhaps Jesus simply had some energy of spirit that was easy to see. Either way, let’s pray each day that the Lord our Savior might help us notice the presence of His spirit in all His works and all of those among us so that we may participate in His grace and fulfill His purpose.