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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, February 26, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 3:7–19a

Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.

He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (NRSV)

Note that the places from which the people in this crowd come are not only from Jewish locations—Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem—but also from non-Jewish locations—Idumea, south of Judea, and the area around Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia, north of Judea. So it’s conceivable that among those whom Jesus called to be with him were some Gentiles.

Can you imagine being one of those who Jesus called because he wanted you and your skills and talents and your presence with him? Be still with that thought for a minute. Hear him calling your name and asking you to make the climb up the mountain with him.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians (1:9) that we each, with our various abilities and talents, are “called by God to partnership with God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” So let us each open our ears and our hearts to that call in this Lenten season.

Holy One, we hear your still, small voice. Help us to respond this Lenten season and take steps forward to follow you up the mountain of faith in humility. Amen.

Written by Marsha Heizer, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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