Monday of the Week of Lent V
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 24:1-10; Romans 9:19-33; John 9:1-17
“Then the word of the LORD came to me: ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah…I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart'” (Jer 24:4-7).
The book of the prophet Jeremiah reminds us that though the Lord God chastens and reproves, He also plants and builds up. Though God judges sin and disobedience, He also forgives and renews. Though we die, yet shall we live!
We have heard much from the Lord, through Jeremiah, about the judgment which would come upon Judah in the form of exile. But after exile would come a time of blessing and restoration. The Lord God promises that He will set His eyes upon the returning exiles for good. But even more, He will give them a heart to know that He is the Lord—so that they will return to Him with their whole heart.
If you haven’t heard this so far in Lent, then hear it now: Lent is not just about sin, judgment and wrath; it’s about planting, building up and restoring. Lent is about returning to the Lord God with our whole heart, knowing that He is our God and we are His people. Lent is all about dying to self and living anew for Christ Jesus.
Do you get stuck in Lent, focusing on sin and guilt, never moving to forgiveness and renewed life in Christ? Is your Lenten observance balanced? As God promised a new start for Jerusalem and Judah, God wants you to return to Him with your whole heart—and live!
Prayer: Turn my heart to you, Lord, and make me your own! Amen.
Lenten Response: Wake up every morning and say, “Thank you, Lord, for another new beginning!
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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