Saint Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday

by Beth LaRocca-Pitts

Scripture2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10

Lent is a time when we put our spiritual life to the test in order to experience the presence of God in our lives more deeply. In 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10, Paul Describes the many ways in which he and other early apostles demonstrated their faithfulness to those to whom they wished to convince of the lordship of Jesus. They were willing to endure “affliction and hardship, calamity and beatings, imprisonment, riots, labor, sleepless nights and hunger.”

But in addition to the things they were willing to endure, they were also able to express their “purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God.”

This Lent is the acceptable time for us to make an experiment out of this example. Every day we encounter hardships in life which we must endure – not riots or beatings or imprisonment perhaps, but afflictions of other kinds. Can we endure the afflictions that present themselves to us without losing the good qualities Paul describes? Can we undergo hardships without losing our patience, our kindness, or our genuine love? Can we put up with inconvenience, much less affliction, and remain loving and patient? Can we seek a holiness of spirit, especially on days that aren’t going well?

This is our spiritual task at all times, but especially during Lent. This Lent let us test ourselves to see if we can be true to our best selves even when undergoing difficulty. In this way we will practice dying to self and living for God.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, teach us to be content to have nothing and, in so doing, possess everything. Help us practice your love every day so that no matter how we are treated, we live after your example and treat others with kindness and honor. Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

 

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