Ponder the images of our week’s meditations. God does not judge as we mortals do—the divine gaze is on the human heart. Shepherds become rulers, and David brings loving-kindness to how we are to live together. The great shepherd of Psalm 23 leads us in pathways of righteousness and into verdant places of life-giving water. The shepherd guides us even in the places of difficulty and death. Into our lives comes Jesus the healer. He knows our blindness and comes to us with light amid the world’s wilderness. What wonderment in the course of our Lenten journeys!
We end as the week began, reading an ancient letter written to the church. Now it has our names on it. These words should be written in gold: “The fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” If Jesus is truly the good shepherd who comes to us as judge and healer, then we are embraced by the grace of a Creator who will not let us perish in darkness. No wonder the letter to the Ephesians admonishes us to search and find what is pleasing to God. In these forty days we encounter difficult things about ourselves and our world. Nevertheless, we persist. This is because God in Christ will not grow weary seeking us. Through the days in our lives that fly by so rapidly, God’s steady light—the light of resurrection faith—beckons us through thick and thin.
Take heart! Live in, with, and through these images. Support one another daily, for “once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light.” Who gives us this language? It is Jesus Christ, the shepherd and Light of God speaking to you now.
Thank you, living God, for words and sight to help us see, love, and worship you. Amen.
The two readings from the Hebrew scriptures focus on the life of David. In First Samuel, the prophet is sent to anoint the next king of Israel. God chooses David not because of outward appearance but because of his heart. David is not perfect, nor is his life always easy. Psalm 23 declares David’s trust in God in good times and bad times. Just as Samuel has anointed David with oil, so does the Lord anoint him. The New Testament readings both employ images of light and darkness. Ephesians instructs us to live as children of light, not darkness. In John, Jesus heals a blind man and brings him from darkness into light. Some religious leaders protest because although their physical eyes can see, their spiritual vision is darkened.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13. How often do you judge others by outward appearances or worldly successes? How can you “look upon the heart” to judge leaders in your community?
Read Psalm 23. When have you experienced Jesus’ presence with you in the wilderness?
Read Ephesians 5:8-14. How does God’s light help you persist through struggles within yourself or in the world around you?
Read John 9:1-41. What questions does Jesus ask you? How do your questions of Jesus help you understand him?
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