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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, April 1, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Zephaniah 2:4–7

For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted. Ah, inhabitants of the seacoast, you nation of the Cherethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left. And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures, meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks. The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah, on which they shall pasture, and in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the Lord their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes. (NRSV)

There is so much that is broken and evil in the world around us that to work for peace and justice can seem to me to be hopeless. This prophecy tells me that God has a plan. Evil will be driven out and injustice will be uprooted.

God’s victory will be complete. There will be nothing left of the evil. Where evil has reigned, God’s people will live in peace and harmony. The prophecy does not mean that we should sit idly by and do nothing. We must work, and work hard, for God’s justice—to make life on earth “as it is in heaven.”

Our work starts with ourselves. There is darkness in all of humankind. We live in a dark world. The darkness is the darkness born of living lives focused on ourselves and things of the world. We overcome that darkness by focusing on the will of God to bring the kingdom of God to the people of God.

Our hope for a truly just world is not in vain. I may not, probably will not, see God’s final victory. God’s promise tells me God will be mindful and restore the world—and me—to God’s self. God will make all things good, as before.

Dear Lord, abide with me so that I can abide with you and be a child of the light, shining out of the darkness that surrounds me. Grant me the courage to be all that you created me to be and to do all that you created me to do. Amen.

Written Blake Anderson, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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