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Lenten Devotional: March 23, 2023

by Jenifer Hartman

“Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ now I say to you also. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

—John 13:33-35

The Easter story tells us how Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all our sins – several devotionals here have focused on what this means on a personal level. As Methodists, we understand forgiveness of our sins and grace is unconditional, and nothing we do can earn this payment. Yet, this great gift compels us to respond as Jesus commands – to love one another as He has loved us.

What does this mean? Far more complex than can be addressed in this devotional, I suggest the following as a start. In so many situations I encounter in life, I ask myself, “What would Jesus do?” As Rev. Margaret would say, “What does it mean to be the hands and feet of Jesus?” Every morning I pray that God will open my eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of those around me. And then, that I would have an open heart to respond to those needs.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it give light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

—Matthew 5:14-16

Reflection: How do you respond to the needs of others? How do you provide light to those around you? What are the ways you reflect God’s love to the world?


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