Today’s readings: Jeremiah 9:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Mark 2:18-22
Sunday of the Week of Lent I
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart” (1 Cor 1:18-31).
For those of us who observe the season of Lent, regardless of our particular Lenten discipline, the world around us sees our actions as foolishness. Spending more time at church? What a waste, they say. Fasting, to empty yourself to be filled with Christ? Makes no sense, they say. Taking time each day for Lenten devotions? Why not use that time for something more fun?!
There is very little about Lent and spiritual discipline that commends itself to the secular, godless world, just as the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice for the sins of the world are seen by the so-called “wise” of the world as absurd, ridiculous. Paul goes on to say in our reading, “but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong…for the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
This Lenten season, let’s be as foolish as we can be, by God’s standards. Let’s worship, and read and study the Bible, and pray, and give to the poor, and fast, and pray some more. Let’s volunteer at the homeless shelter and feed the hungry at the soup kitchen, though we get nothing tangible for our efforts. Let’s give money to support our missionaries, serving in lands we will never visit, helping people we will never meet. Let’s revel in godly foolishness this Lenten season!
Prayer: Lord God, let us boast, not of ourselves, but of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified for us and our salvation. Amen.
Lenten Response: See above suggestions for godly foolishness.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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