View print-optimized version

Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, January 14, 2021  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  John 1:10–18

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (NRSV)

This is a strange passage to read, poetic in its telling of Christ on this earth. But the message is simple. Christ came to earth, not in some magnificent, pomp-and-circumstance manner but in a way that the world did not recognize him. Christ came in the ordinary, born in the dirty, smelly manger. I forget that sometimes. I search for “God moments” or “thin spaces”—places that I feel God’s presence without question. But this passage is here to remind us that Christ is so much more than the grand organ and trumpets during “Joy to the World” during the Christmas Eve service. Christ is in the darkest nights, too.

I was watching an old TV show recently. There was a character named Mike, who was always there when the other characters needed a word of encouragement or simply a little cheering up. The catch was that the other characters never remembered Mike from one interaction to the next. He popped up as the coffee barista, the janitor at the office, the man checking you out at the grocery store. To me, that is Christ. It may not be the same person every time, but Christ works through different people at the time when you need a boost. You never know exactly where it is going to come from; you may not even remember the moment ten minutes after it happened. It is those small moments that add up to the wonders of Christ in this world.

Thank you, God, for the sacrifices you made to come into this world for us. Thank you for the many small moments in my life when you work in the most unexpected of ways. Help me to recognize those moments, and work through me to provide those moments for the people around me. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

Devotion index by date | Id like to receive daily devotions by email