Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23, 2013

John 44:46
I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness.

As I began researching to find a focus for this Lenten devotional, I came across the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.  He was born in 1182 and died in 1226 at the age of 44.  The son of a wealthy silk merchant, Francis led a carefree youth.  However, he later committed his life to God, avowing poverty, and following all that Jesus said and did.

As we celebrate and muse in the days prior to Easter, it would be good if we, like St. Francis, could be more like Christ.  We should have faith and believe what is written in the scriptures - that God will watch over us and help us to "build and to plant" (Jeremiah 31:27-34) those things which we might need, and give up our focus on worldly matters and material things.  We need to trust in Him.

We see in John 12:37-50 that even though Jesus gave many miracles and signs, the Jews still did not believe in Him.  Can we truly show by our life and our daily activities that we, indeed, believe and act in His ways?  Can we take to heart John 12:44-50?  
". . . When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one that sent me . . . I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness . . . So whatever I say is just what the Father told me to say."

Lent is the perfect time for us to examine ourselves, our actions and our core beliefs to see if we do, indeed, believe and live as the Father has told us to.  The Prayer of St. Francis is written below.  I challenge you to read it and question yourself and your actions as you go through each verse.  All of us could be more Christ-like by following the example set by St. Francis.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in the giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~Ann Baker

Jeremiah 31:27-34
Psalms 137, 144 or 42, 43
Romans 11:25-36
John 11:28-44 or John 12:37-50

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