Lenten Devotional – Day 28 – God Provides
. faith, hope, love . . . the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
In the reading from Exodus God speaks with Moses. God “remembers” the covenant with the people of God and promises to be with them continually and by extension us. “Remember” is a powerful word. As Christians we are a story formed community. Should we forget so goes the community, thus, we are called to continually share the story of our salvation history.
God gives God’s name to Moses, “I AM,” saying that it is God’s name forever and a memorial to all generations. The message in Exodus is one of assurance providing us with a secure foundation to bring life to the words we proclaim.
Words spoken without actions are often hollow. Often people have asked “Can’t you just recycle your sermons?” My response is that the only reason I keep a sermon file is to be certain I don’t use the same stories and examples. Every time we read or hear the scriptures we are at a different place in our life experiences, since life is rarely stagnant.
The scriptures speak to us constantly, giving us new insights and renewed energy on our journey of faith, no matter where we are or how strong or weak our faith may be, helping us to become more fully the people God prays us to be.
The reading from 1 Corinthians directly follows Paul’s teaching on the variety of gifts that come from the Spirit and their uniqueness to each of us. The reading is often used at weddings; however, it’s actually referring to the gifts of the Spirit and agape’, an unconditional love that loves for love’s sake. Without agape’ the gifts are meaningless.
With it the gifts of the Spirit are amplified, taking on a life of their own, and are mutually beneficial to all undergirded by belief and deeds. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus says to the father of the epileptic boy, “If you can believe, all things are possible.” “All things” are those things which God has provided to give us, e.g., peace and joy. The verse is not saying that we will get everything that we “want.” The word “believe” refers to knowing that God loves us unconditionally and in the certainty that God provides us with what we “need.”
The boy’s father asks for help in his unbelief, meaning that he doesn’t have much faith, but he has a little and because of it Jesus cures his son. God does not wait until we are perfect (which will never happen on earth) before hearing our prayers, and even the teeniest bit of faith is enough. It is through the gifts of the Spirit, of faith, hope, and love being the greatest of all, that we are empowered and strengthened through continually sharing them with all we meet.
Prayer: Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; then use us, we pray, as you will and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.