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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, June 10, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Matthew 9:35—10:8

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.” (NRSV)

I’m not sure what our daily lives will be looking like when this devotion is sent out to you all, but my guess is that things will still be far from what we used to know and love. Today’s passage talks about Jesus showing compassion to people he was encountering, “because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Have you felt confused or helpless lately? I know that I have felt that way many times in recent days. Even as faithful followers of Jesus, we can feel helpless, especially during these incredibly difficult times. I feel unsure of many things. Am I being a good parent? Am I supporting my Black brothers and sisters enough? What am I doing to help dismantle the systemic racism that we see in our world? Am I serving others like I should be? Am I showing God’s love to people that I encounter? I frequently feel like a lost sheep, trying to navigate our current world the best that I can.

When that “lost sheep” feeling sneaks in, we need to take a step back and remember that God is walking right beside us, leading us through this different world that we are not living in. Things may look very different right now, but we are still a church full of active disciples. In the midst of a pandemic we are gathering to worship and meet together in new ways. We are still serving those who are most vulnerable, providing them with clothing, food, and toiletry items. Our youngest disciples are sending cards to others and writing supportive chalk messages on sidewalks. We are doing a lot of good work in many ways and are showing the compassion of Jesus to others. Let’s keep it up, and I look forward to seeing us all be disciples of Jesus in creative new ways.

Loving God, there are so many times when I feel lost, like I’m not doing very well at anything. Please remind me that I’m called to be a disciple, and help me to continue to serve others in new ways. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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