Lenten Devotional March 21, 2024


Mark 10:17-31

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'" 20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." 28 Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you." 29 Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age - houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions - and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."


The Rev. Greg Steible ’14

I was having pad thai with a photographer friend of mine a few weeks ago. He was telling me about an upcoming trip to Central America and all the packing required. Three or four days in the jungle looking for the most beautiful birds and three or four days relaxing on the beach requires a good deal of packing. Not only does he have to dress appropriately for the places he’ll be, but he has all these different (and expensive) lenses he brings with him—and a laptop, several memory cards, and an external hard drive. It’s significant packing.

Sure, Central American birds are likely beautiful and the beach down there must be amazing. But he and I both live on islands in the Puget Sound. We have beauty all around us here, too. He’s captured some amazing orca pictures in what amounts to his backyard. But his desires to see new things and encounter new bits of God’s creation and witness unique wildlife moments is unwavering. He makes significant sacrifices to be able to make these sorts of trips. They’re expensive, they’re time away from family, friends, and comfort, there’s jetlag involved. I love the passion he has. He is pumped for this trip, and this is just one of several he’s been on. I’m inspired by him—and his art.

Following Jesus is something akin to the passion of my photography buddy. It means being willing and excited to go to great lengths for Jesus’ purposes and tasks. There may be sacrifices to be made, but when we exude the passion of following Jesus, they sure don’t feel that way. By God’s grace, the things we give up for the sake of Jesus are liberating and Jesus’ call is life-giving.


Lord, strengthen us. As we are challenged to follow you every moment of every day, help us to see the joy you offer as we recognize the hope you provide. Amen.



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