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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today’s Reading | John 4:46–54

Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee. (NRSV)


Jesus’ reply to the royal official who is asking for help is interesting: “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” Jesus’ words cut deep. He is examining the hearts of those around him and telling them their beliefs are shallow. They are simply believing what is right in front of them.

As I meditated on this story and thought about Lent, I realized this is similar to what God is asking me to do in this Lenten season. So often my beliefs are stuck to what is directly in front of me, and therefore my faith is feeble and fickle. This is why during Lent we fast from particular things or add new practices to our routines, in order that God through the Holy Spirit will help us to examine our hearts. That God will help us to see past the problems and anxieties directly in front of us and instead direct our eyes to him the “author and perfector of our faith.”

Interestingly, as the story continues, Jesus tells the royal official to “go, your son will live.” The man takes Jesus at his word and goes. Upon his arrival home he finds that Jesus was true to his words and his son is healed.

Friends, today, as we walk through this season of Lent together, let’s us draw near to God that our hearts may be examined, not to be condemned by God, but rather to be set free from our tendency to stare only at the problems in front of us. As Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest” (CEB).


Loving Father, today, by your Holy Spirit, please examine my heart. Turn my stuck eyes away from my anxieties and toward you. Help me to believe that you are a giver of rest. Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Administrative Assistant to Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and the Day School

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