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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Romans 8:14, 26–30

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. (NRSV)

Paul’s message is striking: we are children of God, not subjects, servants, or slaves. We are the chosen ones of a loving parent who claims us and seeks our benefit. While we are not spared difficulties, setbacks, and losses in life, Paul assures us that we are not alone or abandoned in any endeavor. Try rereading this passage and focusing not on the words but on the visceral enthusiasm in Paul’s message to us as Christians.

In the movie Lion, a lost child is adopted and raised with all the advantages of a prosperous and loving home. As an adult, he struggles with the trauma of his early loss. His quest to find “home” is consuming. He disconnects from his closest relationships. His anguish is palpable.

In an emotionally charged, pivotal moment, he finds a lifeline in the magnanimity of his adoptive mother’s love. She reveals to him that he was his parents’ intentional choice: he was chosen. He renews his search, propelled by the love of both his adoptive and birth family. In love, he finds his home and himself.

Caring God, help ease the grip of any fear, doubt, and distance I feel today. Help me to find myself in your love and acceptance. Guide me to show that love to others, acting in communion with your great collective of loving souls. Amen.

Written by Laura Sterkel, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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