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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, March 31, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | 1 John 1:5–10

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (NRSV)

Reflection
When I read this passage, it makes me think of the verse in Isaiah 9: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” I imagine beautiful, warm sunlight shining down on God’s people after a long period of darkness. Light has many qualities: it illuminates, it warms, it provides energy, it powers growth. To Christians, God is the light that illuminates the world and shows us that all people are children of God. John’s message is that in order to walk in that light with God we must not deceive ourselves but confess and be forgiven.

What is it that we need to confess? I suspect that we need to confess that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes, and that we sometimes act in ways that are not what God would want of us. And most of all, I expect we need to confess that we need God’s grace and we need to admit that we cannot do it all on our own. The very act of confessing our inadequacies and need of grace provide us with the humility necessary to really see others as children of God. Only then can we truly walk in the light, with God and in fellowship with each other.

Prayer
Dear God, I confess my need for your grace and your forgiveness. Help me to walk in your light, to view the world as illuminated by your light, and to see all people as your beloved children. Thank you for the promise of your light in my life and in the world. Amen.

Written by Juli Crabtree, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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