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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, October 17, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 10:24–33

“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” (NRSV)

Reflection
I first became familiar with the American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson during my sophomore year of college at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I was studying instrumental music education and was taking my first of many music history classes. We received cassette tapes with music that we needed to learn and memorize for our “drop the needle” quizzes, and Mahalia Jackson was on one of those tapes. I fell in love with her voice and her music, particularly her performance of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

This passage is another reminder of the great love and concern God has for all of creation, from the tiniest sparrow to each and every one of us. It is easy to get caught up in the material things in life—money, our possessions, or how we rank in our community, workplace, or social group. We are bombarded with images from social media posts showing people with the “perfect life,” and it is easy to feel less than and unimportant compared to other people. God doesn’t see us in that way, though. God pays great attention to all of us and cares for us more than we can imagine. No matter how small or unimportant we may feel at times, we are loved, supported, and valued by God.

“I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”

Prayer
Thank you, dear God, for your deep love and care that you show me. On days when I’m feeling discouraged and unloved, help me to remember your constant compassion. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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