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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

March 1, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 9:37–43

A father at the end of his rope, having exhausted all other options, begged Jesus to heal his son. He couldn’t bear to see his only child shriek in pain, overtaken by sudden convulsions. Jesus immediately responds with power and compassion. “Bring your son here.” Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit that had possessed the boy, heals him, and gives him back to his father, made new. “And all were astounded at the greatness of God.”

This scene is filled with sudden, urgent, dramatic transformation at the extremes of illness and wholeness. We don’t have such direct encounters with Jesus on earth. Yet there are many times we can be astounded by the greatness of God. God’s Spirit always moves toward healing, justice, harmony, and love. Whether in slow, incremental ways or in large chapters in history, God is working through us and among us. Advances in medical research and treatment are saving lives, including that of my husband, in ways that astound us. Gang members are having their tattoos removed and walking away from violent associations to start anew in ways that astound us. Nations who were formerly enemies are putting down their weapons and seeking peace in ways that astound us. People are demanding new policies and practices to reduce climate change in ways that astound us. Bipartisan efforts will be reducing incarceration in ways that astound us. Women throughout the world are being empowered in ways that astound us.

God is great and greatly to be praised. Let us open our eyes to recognize that wherever love triumphs over fear, justice over oppression, and healing over brokenness, God is there, at work.

Liberator God, awaken me to recognize you at work, to praise your holy name, and to be a channel of your Spirit. Amen.

Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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