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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, March 19, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Isaiah 55:1–9

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
    and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
    and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NRSV)

This passage of scripture reminds us of some of the key principles of the Lenten season. First, that we should seek satisfaction and comfort in the teachings and the way of the Lord, instead of attempting to find happiness in possessions and pleasures that ultimately have little to no value in our spiritual lives. Second, Isaiah reminds us of God’s promise to his people: that we will be exalted and endowed with blessings. Third, that even when we falter and stray away from God, we should continue to seek God and God’s ways, for in doing so, God will have mercy on us and pardon us of our misdoings.

Finally, and probably most importantly, the writer reminds us that as humans we are not God and our thoughts and deeds will never match those of the Lord. This is important, because therein lies the realization that while we should always strive to be a better version of ourselves, we will never be perfect. Lent is about reclaiming our spiritual center and refocusing our spiritual journey on those things that will yield growth and improvement in our lives. What a blessing to be able to have this opportunity to reconnect with God.

Lord God, thank you for reminding us that although we are not perfect, we should continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves. Teach us to focus on what is important and sustaining towards our spiritual growth. Help us to seek value in your teaching and way versus the ways of the world. In your name we pray. Amen.

Written by Justin Epps, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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