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Lenten Devotions: "Love"

This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).

This post is reprinted, with permission, from Glusenkamp's site, h20 devos. Audio podcast versions of the daily devotionals are also available.


Photo by flickr user Mumu X

Second Sunday in Lent
March 16, 2014
 
"Save your strength for the good fight
 
Save your tears for the sorrow
Spend your love it's alright
Before it's gone gone gone tomorrow
 
For the day will come when you leave this dusty town
And your cross will take its place by your father's in the ground
Love is not just a fable that Hollywood bought and sold
Oh let me tell you now love is the only road, " 
—Lyrics from "Blue River," by Peter Mayer
 
On this Second Sunday in Lent, the Gospel lesson (John 3) for today brings us
the first episode of "Nick at Night": Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night to talk with him.
He evidently feels he is not in a position to talk with Jesus during the daylight hours. I've often told people in Bible class that if the Gospel of John was a play, and you were the stage manager, that you'd only have one task to do, and that would be to either turn on the lights or turn off the lights. This is due to the fact that in the Gospel of John, things either happen when it's light or when it is dark. During these days in March, you might feel the same way about your life, that things either happen in the light or the dark. Jesus and Nicodemus have quite the conversation. This is how is concludes (or maybe actually it has a new beginning for Nicodemus with these lovely words from Jesus):
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
 
Jesus is about love. Unfortunately, I think it can take a long time for the church and for church people to come to that conclusion. I know that in my own faith journey, a good portion of my life was spent on trying to follow all the rules. Coupled with that attention to behavior and detail was the strong image of God as judge. The more I learn and pray, it comes to me that the message our world desperately needs to see, hear and feel from people who follow Jesus is one of love!
 
Peter lovingly and courageously sings, "Love is not just a fable that Hollywood bought and sold/
Oh let me tell you now love is the only road."
 
In fact, Jesus himself said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." So, the One who calls himself the "Road" is with us on our journey through the ups and downs of life. Knowing that we are loved and do love is so important.
 
I spent time at a hospice yesterday morning. Family members and myself gathered around the bed of a grand lady to offer comfort to her as well as "permission" that it is alright to let go. I read the words about Simeon, who rejoiced when he saw the baby Jesus in the temple, from Luke 2:
 
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
"Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.
 
Love is the road on which that dear family journeys. Love will see them through
as they walk through "the valley of the shadow of death." Love will be there to welcome them and us as we are reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us.
 
Love is God. God is Love.

 

« Lenten Devotions: "Peace" Lenten Devotions: "Good to Have a Friend" »

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