March 23rd Lenten Devotion

Aggravated or Amazed?

Mary Austin

Matthew 9:32-34

At a recent church meeting, a longtime member got angry about our church financial situation, and a proposal to generate some funds.  “You haven’t done this and you haven’t done that,” he said accusingly.  In fact, the church had done all of the things on his list, and he just didn’t happen to know about it.

It was a reminder, for me, about communication, going both ways. I could have done a better job sharing the steps the church had taken.  I’m also sure I would have responded more kindly to him if he had asked, instead of telling.  “Have we tried this…?”  He spoke with authority out of ignorance, in the same way that the religious leaders respond to Jesus.  The crowd sees new possibilities in what Jesus is doing, and the religious leaders can only imagine one possible answer for what Jesus is doing.

As we follow Jesus, lots of experiences elude our categories.  We witness healings or changes in people’s spirits that defy explanation.  We see the power of evil defeated by good, and the force for good can be so tiny we imagine it can’t possibly do much.  We can respond with ignorance, or with wonder.  We can assume that if it’s not done the way we would do it, it’s wrong.  Or we can take up the spiritual discipline of being amazed by Jesus all over again.   Awe opens the door to Lent’s gifts.

This Lent, wonderous God, quiet our rational minds, we pray, and open us again to awe.  Teach us to live with questions and to love them as much as we love answers.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a multi-cultural Presbyterian.  She is the author of meeting God at the Mall.

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s