Please read Isaiah 65:17-25
Perhaps, it is easier to think of a new creation at the time of year when crocus peep through the earth … when sunny days outnumber grey cloudy ones … when birdsong awakens us more frequently. More than the truth of the natural references, Isaiah’s invitation is to account for God’s presence in their post Exilic lives. The invitation to the Hebrews celebrates God’s promise actualized back in the Promised Land.
Now, the challenge to our faith is to recognize how God’s intention is at work transforming our lives into God’s divine plan. In the midst of this 20/20 Lenten season, we are invited to gain better insight and to refine our relationship to the same Creator. As followers of the Christ, we seek to discover or to recover our purpose as stewards of time and of all of God’s creation. It’s a season to re-focus our perspective. It is precisely for this reason that we are turning our attention to these daily devotions.
In the USA, it is an election year. The divisions are pronounced. The tensions are high. One of the leaders at the recent Clergy/Spouse Spiritual Life Retreat acknowledged that she had virtually stopped the consumption of all news because of the vitriol. I have considered that, too, but think that my desire to be part of what God desires to do in this time of turmoil calls me to be an informed and faithful witness and participant.
I have found Richard Rohr’s book, “Everything Belongs” to be an important reminder that nothing is beyond God’s concern, even the political scene of the nation. Rohr’s observation that the popular notion that God is “out there” creates a dualism that is tearing us apart. Rohr says, “That’s why we have raped the earth, why we have such poor understanding of our bodies, our economy, and our health. He goes on to say, “That’s why we live such distraught and divided lives. What is worse is that Jesus came precisely to put it all together.” Jesus commissions his followers to be part of this new creation . . . to put into practice the very lifestyles that permit this new creation, this reign of Christ, to be realized. Curiously, it is not experienced necessarily by adding new disciplines. If anything, it is realized by having less of me and more of Christ. It is experienced by my surrender as the “center of my universe.” In Richard Rohr’s words, it is known and expressed by “the release of our current defense postures, by letting go of fear and our attachment to self-image.”
Prayer: O Living Spirit of Christ, lead us to recognize humility as the pathway to You. May there be less of me and more of You, Lord. Guide us to know that You are able to utilize every trait in my character and every experience of my life to contribute to the new creation you are bringing into fruition. Amen
Kerry J. Reed, Columbus
Regional Elder, District 13/14
The full Lenten Devotional Booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.