As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15-16
Key verse: (15:19) Every firstling male born of your herd and flock you shall consecrate to the Lord your God; you shall not do work with your firstling ox nor shear the firstling of your flock.
Reflection: What to do with firstlings?
What do we do with this passage if we aren’t shepherds and we make no distinction between a first calf or a first lamb? Let us look at this law as it may pertain to us. Perhaps we could devote the FIRST of our time, or the FIRST of our resources to glorify God. How might we do that? Well, consider this – When we are planning our time, is God in there FIRST, or do we squeeze God into a slot that is already full? When obtaining food for Loaves and Fishes or our brothers and sisters in need, do we give our FIRST, our best, or do we reach far into our cupboards for that can of soup that we are never going to eat or the box of cereal that we would not pour into our own bowls? Giving of the FIRST is giving sacrificially.
During this time of Lent, let us remember that God knows what it means to give sacrificially, giving of God’s FIRST son. And in giving Jesus to the world, God puts us FIRST. God always has time for us and desires to give the best to all of humanity. So often we are quick to jump to Easter, where we want to be FIRST to worship God in joy and praise. But we forget that we can’t get to Easter without FIRST going through this season of Lent and Holy week, a season of sacrifice. This is where we learn and discover the love that Jesus has for each of us as he endured the journey to the cross. It is during this time that we define what should be FIRST in our lives, and how we show our love and gratitude to God, by putting God and others FIRST.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for putting all your children FIRST. Forgive us for not putting you FIRST in our lives, and for not putting our brothers and sisters, near and far, FIRST, in our daily plans. As we walk together during this time of Lent, help us to grow closer to you. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Author: Angie Edwards, Elder class of 2021
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].