St. Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – March 27, 2015

by Cara Cassell

Scripture2 Corinthians 4:1-12

In this passage from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, we see the passion that God has given Paul and his fellow ministers. Paul writes, “Since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” The way is tough.  

Others distort the gospel truth. The ministry itself, the source of their persecution, encourages Paul and the others even as they suffer and perhaps feel temptation to take an easier way. Paul writes that their suffering enables them to carry in their bodies the death of Jesus. In carrying that death, they also carry God’s light.  Their commitment to the God-given ministry gives them “heart,” or courage. For these ministers, the calling to this ministry protects them from crushing despair.  Yes, they suffer. They must accept their imperfect “jars of clay” and know that those humble vessels are sufficient to carry the very light of God. God has made it so. God has called them. They are persecuted, not abandoned, and struck down, not destroyed. In these contrasts, we hear Paul’s gratitude. 

In a few short days, we, too, may feel struck down as we experience Good Friday. In humanity’s darkest hours, we crucified the Savior. The truth of our betrayal nearly crushes us, even as the dawning resurrection restores us. Like Paul, we realize that light comes not from our good works, but instead through the mercy of God. This light frees us to fulfill the calling that God places in our hearts. In whatever place God puts us, we have a purpose to fulfill. Our clay vessels have been formed by God to have strength enough.

Prayer: Thank you, loving God, for staying beside us always. Please help us to heed your calling to allow your light to live in our hearts. Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

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