Exodus 16:23-36; 1 Peter 3:13-4:6; John 16:1-15
During childhood our family all but lived in Church during Holy Week, culminating in Easter joy. Custom was, though, that there would be a wonderful Easter party with candy, egg hunts, and family celebrations. Pulling these two, disparate realities together—the holy time with God and the almost hedonistic revels afterward—is still a challenge.
Moses spent half a lifetime working to bring former slaves into the community of God’s favor. It took very little to distract them from God’s life-giving directions. We all know five-year-olds who can follow directions better than they could.
In Christ, risen and glorified, Peter’s challenge is to form the Church on Jesus’ model of self-giving love. Well-practiced sinners like us were not only facing their habitual sinful pasts, they were being threatened by forces arrayed against their new community in Christ. The difference this time is the gift of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to His followers just before His saving passion began.
This is Baptism’s Spirit. This is God’s work in us creating God’s people from the inside out. By Word and Sacrament we are being daily transformed into Christ-likeness. Disparities are being overcome by the persistent grace of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Prayer: O Holy Trinity, continue, we pray, your transforming work of love within your Church, that the light of Christ becomes the beacon of hope drawing all to you; in Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Ann Smith, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, PA.