Saturday of the Week of Lent III
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 13:1-11; Romans 6:12-23; John 8:47-59
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).
I’ve heard complaints that folks don’t like Lent because there’s too much focus on sin! Sin is not a popular topic in our world today. Sin as disobedience of God isn’t relevant anymore. If Christians talk about sin, many would prefer to discuss it as “just the brokenness of the world,” so that sin is our unfortunate corporate condition and not individual transgression against God.
Why focus at all on sin today? Because the Scriptures tell us that sin is harmful. Sin does have consequences—for us personally, for our families and neighbors, for the Church and, yes, for the world. Hatred, greed, lust, self-centeredness, idolatry—sin negatively impacts our world and our own little corner of it. And God will hold us accountable for our sin. We die because “the wages of sin is death.” To ignore or avoid acknowledging sin is to kid ourselves, just as thinking we can ignore or avoid death means we will never die. Sin and death are our reality.
And yet, is Lent a time for dragging around a burden of guilt, sour-faced, making sure all see how troubled we are by our sinfulness?
In Lent, we confess our sins and acknowledge our inability to live a righteous, godly life—to hear again and anew the good news that we have a Savior, who is Christ the Lord! We do need to be honest about the fact that the wages of sin is death, so that we receive the free gift of God that is eternal life in Jesus Christ! There is to be a balance in Lent: sin and grace, Law and Gospel, death and new life in Christ!
Prayer: Lord God, I know I sin every day, but I thank you for the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ! Amen.
Lenten Response: As you have received the free gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ, share that love with another through a simple smile, loving gesture, or act of kindness.
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.