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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Deuteronomy 18:15–18

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.” (NRSV)

When the Daily Devotions assignment list appeared in my inbox, I sent a note to Pastor Rocky, “You get Mark and I get Deuteronomy?”

I’m not sure I have a favorite book in the Old Testament, but I am sure I have a least favorite—Deuteronomy. It has always seemed to me that this book is reserved for scholars; we lay people aren’t supposed to know its secrets.

There’s no secret in this passage though. Moses tells us we are getting what we asked for: someone we can talk to, who knows what it is to love and suffer and be happy and sad. He’ll be human, a Jew, and a prophet—like Moses. And when he comes, we can trust his words, because he’ll be speaking for God. 

Watch out if you see a prophet coming your way. They’re not foretellers of the future. They are truth-tellers of the present who expose hidden gracelessness. Jesus is God’s truth-teller. He digs into my dry bones and pulls out the person he wants me to be. I want to be that person too. Sometimes. I often hide from the truth—fearing ridicule and silent scorn because my greatest obsession is to be normal and to fit in. 

God’s truth-teller came in the form of a sassy teenager recently: “You think you’re so privileged,” she said when my wrinkled old mouth asked for her seat on the bus. God’s truth-teller told me to love her, to be a Christian, to trust him with her words. 

Thank you, God, for sending me your truth-teller, a baby I can cherish, a man I can believe, and a friend I can trust. Expose the flimflam thoughts I tell myself, and give me courage to have a life of truth and grace. Amen.

Written by Regan Burke, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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