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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, December 13, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Zephaniah 3:14–18
Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. (NRSV)

There are so many different ways to think about Jesus: the Son of God, the Son of man, our strength, our redeemer, our savior, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings, etc. He is so many things to so many people, and even when I think about my own understanding and relationship with Jesus, over the years I’ve latched on to various aspects of who he is. But perhaps my favorite way to think of him is beautifully summed up in this prophetic statement by Zephaniah: “he will renew you in his love.”

In a lot of ways that one phrase sums up everything that Jesus has done for me. His love for me renewed my relationship with God, which was broken through original sin and which I continue to damage when I do and say things that aren’t aligned with God’s ways. God’s love will renew my life after this one passes from me. And in very real ways, that love renews me every day in both big things and small.

God’s love renews me when I find healing; when I find perspective in the midst of a hectic life; when I find peace in the face of being overwhelmed and discouraged; and when I find comfort in the times I feel lost and lonely.

Where do you see the renewing love of Jesus in your own life?

As we prepare for the coming of your Son, continue to renew us in your love, O God. And in that renewal, may we find our faith strengthened, our hope emboldened, and our love for each other reignited. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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