Sunday of the Week of Lent IV
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 14:1-22; Galatians 4:21–5:1; Mark 8:11-21
“The Pharisees came and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from Him a sign from heaven to test him. And He sighed deeply in His spirit and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation’” (Mark 8:11-12).
Throughout the season of Lent, our Gospel readings highlight the struggle between proof and lack of proof, signs and lack of signs, belief and unbelief. Some people who saw Jesus and listened to His teaching and witnessed miracles and wonders came to believe. Others couldn’t and wanted more. Others still had no interest in believing, wanting only to test Jesus.
In our day, people continue to struggle. Some want to prove Jesus is Son of God and Savior, while others want to prove He isn’t. Some just want to poke fun at Jesus and His followers! Some mock the time and energy Christians invest in faith, discipleship, church, serving God and neighbor.
It has always seemed to me the most radical sign we can give to the unbelieving world—is to show up regularly for Sunday worship! I imagine neighbors watching Christians load up into the car on Sunday morning to head to church, thinking, “Have they nothing better to do? Wouldn’t their week go better if they’d just sleep in, read the paper and have time to themselves?” I pray that when you leave home for worship on Sunday morning that someone sees you and is troubled that you are a “practicing” Christian—actually going to church in the midst of an unbelieving world! Maybe you will be the sign they need, challenging their lack of faith.
Prayer: Lord, let me be a sign and a witness as I seek to live my faith, through Christ the Lord. Amen.
Lenten Response: Put a small cross on the outside of the door of your home, as a humble, simple witness.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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