Have you ever arrived home at the end of the day and been unable to recall how you got there? You knew your route so well you didn’t have to pay attention. You had no awareness of the turns and stops as you went through the motions by rote—yet there you are.
This rote behavior can affect our spiritual lives too. We fall into routines, going through the motions of church or prayer or worship. Throughout the ages, people of faith have fallen into this trap, the trap of confusing the habits of faith with authentic faith itself.
Jesus’ ministry bore witness to authentic faith. He had authority, but not because he took the credential of “high priest” or held a fancy title. Jesus had authority because he poured out his life through his melted heart of “loud cries and tears.” He became the “source of eternal salvation” not through donning priestly robes or conducting elaborate rituals but through an authentic faith lived from the inside out. He was “made perfect” not by being born into a dynasty of priests or fulfilling a formal requirement but through God’s gift.
When we are tempted to put our hope in doing things the right way, saying the right words, or doing the proper rituals, we may fall into the age-old trap of rote patterns of spiritual life. We get home in one piece but miss everything God was doing along the way. Authentic faith pays attention with melted hearts and poured-out lives. How can you pay attention to what God is up to today?

O God, keep our eyes open and alert for you on the way home. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 12:20-33

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Leccionario Semanal
March 12–18, 2018
Resumen de la Escritura

We can maintain outward appearances for only so long. At some point what is in our hearts will come to the surface. God understands this, of course, which is the reason for the promise in Jeremiah. God promises a day when God’s law will no longer be an external standard that we are trying to follow, but will be written on our hearts. In the aftermath of his sin with Bathsheba, David cries out in Psalm 51 for God’s forgiveness and a new heart. The New Testament readings begin to focus our minds toward the end of Jesus’ life. God’s transformative work comes at a cost to God through the death of his Son, who suffered in obedience but through his death was glorified.

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. In what areas of your life do you find yourself keeping score? How can you release that tendency?
• Read Psalm 51:1-12. What clutters your heart, making it unavailable for love?
• Read Hebrews 5:5-10. When have you fallen into the habit of faith rather than exhibiting authentic faith? What distinction do you draw between the two?
• Read John 12:20-33. How does the author’s illustration of the seed and flower help you understand Jesus’ crucifixion and death?

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