Lenten Devotional March 18, 2021
41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Jonathan J. Ellegood ’06
For the first two years we lived in our home we had a light above our kitchen sink that didn’t work. Every day, we would wash dishes and I would think to myself how it would be nice to have this light working. But it never seemed so dark that I couldn’t see well enough to get the dishes washed.
One day, something compelled me to finally put in a new light. Having a new light in this space made all the difference. Now I can easily see where I miss spots on dirty dishes and what places need scrubbed a little harder. I realized, now that there is a new light, I can’t wash dishes without the light on. When the light is off it’s too dark for me to wash dishes. Until the light was on I didn’t know how dark things really were.
In his Gospel, John reminds us that Jesus is the light that shines in the dark places for eternity. The people “ate manna in the wilderness and they died,” and they drank from a well that only leads to being thirsty again (John 4:13). The people had some light, but it wasn’t the true light. Jesus is the one who is the “living bread” and the “spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). In Christ, there is no end, only true joy.
As we prepare for the coming of Easter, we must ask ourselves: Are there dark places in our lives that need light? How much time and energy are we spending on things that are only temporary?
God, we are easy to distract. We like shiny objects and easily accessible toys. But what is right in front of us is not always helpful and healthy. Guide us toward you. Lead us to ask hard questions and allow us open ears to hear the responses - even when they are difficult. Amen.
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