Friday of the Week of Lent V
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 29:1-14; Romans 11:13-24; John 11:1-27
“Jesus said to Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26).
As I prepare these devotions without the benefit of seeing you and knowing how you are responding, I am always concerned that you hear in them, the great hopefulness we have because Jesus died and was raised for us! Although it is right for us to talk honestly about sin, disobedience, guilt, judgment and wrath—calling all to repentance and amendment of life—this is possible only because of God’s grace and mercy!
Lent is not intended to make us grovel and bow under the great weight of our sinfulness. Lent is to provide opportunity for heartfelt reflection and self-examination, true repentance for the sake of forgiveness—so that we arrive at Holy Week and Easter ready! Ready to walk again with our Lord, ready to hear again of His passion, death and resurrection, ready to receive the good news that Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!
It’s helpful for us to have the account of the raising of Lazarus as we are about to enter into Holy Week. The chance to see Jesus restoring life to Lazarus and to overhear His interaction with Martha proclaims to us, again, the good news that Jesus is the resurrection and the life—that all who believe in Him—though we die, yet shall we live! This is the Gospel which I hope and pray you have been hearing throughout these Lenten devotions. We don’t preach law, sin and judgment in Lent and save the good news for Easter. Jesus, the resurrection and life is to be proclaimed always—as it is His risen presence which is the power of God unto salvation. We confess, repent, and amend our lives, because of the promise of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we draw near to Holy Week, keep us focused, keep us mindful of you, the resurrection and the life. Amen.
Lenten Response: Today, put your congregation’s Holy Week services on your calendar. Make them your priority next week.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
Click video to play.
Video of each day’s devotion is available here. The 2017 Lenten Devotional, based on Year I of the LBW and written by Pastor David Wendel, is available for download/printing in two formats and as a daily text/email message.
• 8.5″ x 11″ large print version for one- or two-sided printing on letter-sized paper
• 8.5″ x 11″ booklet (folds to 5.5″ x 8.5″) designed for two-sided printing on letter-sized paper
To receive daily devotionals via SMS, please text @NALCLENT to 614-682-8693.
To receive daily devotionals via email, please visit: NALC Lenten Devotional.
The 2017 Lenten Devotional is also available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Search for NALC WALK OF FAITH. If you already have the NALC Walk of Faith app, just update it by clicking the “download” button next to the devotional for Lent.