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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 12:1–11   

Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture:

     ‘The stone that the builders rejected
      has become the cornerstone;
      this was the Lord’s doing,
      and it is amazing in our eyes’?” (NRSV)

Jesus' use of parables helped his followers understand their current context. Jesus is being persecuted and foreshadows his own death at the hands of the authorities that are working to undermine his God-given kingdom.

In today’s context, imagine Jesus “live tweeting” his last week on earth as he journeys towards Jerusalem. I know what you’re thinking—but the word got out fast and that is how Jesus viewed using parables that his followers would then articulate to others.

When I read this text again, I was struck with one thought—faith. One of my favorite verses is "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the convictions of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Faith keeps me thinking positively even in the face of “facts” that would seem to suggest the daily barrage of gloom and doom is overtaking our world. A daily dose of faith comes in so many forms that I am often overwhelmed by the acts of those that could seemingly be downtrodden but are not.

Dear friends, keep the faith. God is here, and the witness of his Son shows us the way to emulate positivity and faith even during the darkest of days.

Today is the day to keep the faith. Follow the Son. Follow the Father. Be positive in every interaction today and always. Amen.

Written by Lesley Conzelman, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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