Proverbs 30:1-4, 24-33; Philippians 3:1-11; John 18:28-38
Sometimes you just can’t beat the King James version for blunt clarity. Reading Philippians 3:8, for example, in several more modern translations suggests that Paul considers all his accomplishments and status to be “rubbish” or “garbage.” But the Greek word skubala is rendered best as “dung”—a pile of it, not just a little spot here and there. As we read on in both Proverbs and John, we gain an even deeper sense of the comparative worthless quality of our human-based ever-changing wisdom and correctness. Even Pilate concedes the point in his famous question of Jesus, “What is truth?”
The truth is not to be found by cheering for the right team in the recent Super Bowl or hanging with revelers tonight in some ungodly Mardi Gras gathering. It cannot even be found in our highest earthly wisdom and philosophical discourse. The Truth is, and only is, in him, with him, and through him.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Every day and season is important, but the Lenten journey is an intentional opportunity to separate what is wheat and what is chaff, what is true treasure and what is, well, just plain skubala.
Prayer: As I turn my eyes upon you, Jesus, let the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of your glory and grace. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Jack Richards, retired NALC Pastor.