Sunday of the Week of Lent III
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 6:9-15; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Mark 5:1-20
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20).
Paul begins this passage saying, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.”
We would be mistaken to think that Lent is only about mentally and spiritually pondering sin, grace and justification. Lenten discipline has traditionally been an “embodied” experience: involving mind and body. This is why Christians have also adopted Lenten fasting, kneeling, denying and, yes, sometimes adding exercise to our Lenten routine!
If we are honest with ourselves, it is often the case that we are “enslaved” by our desire for food, alcohol, drugs, sex. Our freedom in Christ is to set us free from these entanglements and obsessions. We were indeed bought with a price! Jesus Christ died and was raised to give us new life, that we might be renewed in body, mind and spirit.
The season of Lent can be a powerful time to not only reorient our thinking but also our actions. Adopting a new exercise regimen with a spiritual focus; fasting in a healthy way, to empty ourselves to be filled with Christ. Honoring our bodies in any way for the season of Lent can have greater meaning for us than just wanting to lose weight to get into that Speedo or bikini! Do it for the season of Lent, and maybe you will develop a holy habit that will continue through the season of Easter and beyond. Do it to glorify God!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, set me free from enslavements and obsessions. I offer my body and mind to you, as you have made me your own. Amen.
Lenten Response: Look in a mirror today and say, “You belong to God. You were bought with a price—the price of Jesus’ own life.”
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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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.
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