As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Reflection: Judges 19-21
Key verses: (21:24-25) So the Israelites departed from there at that time by tribes and families, and they went out from there to their own territories. 25 In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.
Reflection: These chapters of Judges are heavy, the character’s behavior is downright terrible in today’s moral standards. Although at times they ask for God’s help, they seem to rely on their own devices.
What happens when we just rely on our own devices? Sometimes, when I spend time reflecting on my own it can bring me peace and clear my head of noise. Yet, as a person of faith, solely relying on my own devices is not God’s intention. It can be lonely and isolating, particularly in the last year we have had. I can lose perspective. Just ask my kids what happens when I think I have lost my cell phone! Think of a moment when you’ve been too caught up in your phone and your phone battery has died. Panic ensues! We feel lost!
Keeping to our own devices can create polarization on the community level as well. Polarization in our country this year has been magnified on many levels. Each side feels strongly about their view, unable to look past differing viewpoints and failing to love and respect the other as a person. This doesn’t feel like the kind of love God models in respect and unity for our community.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus was able to call others to repentance when they strayed from God while still loving the person. While this is hard for us, Christ sets us an example of what it means to love our neighbors, even our enemies, not based on our own desires, but through the lens of God’s grace, call to repentance, and renewal.
We were created to love others. God provides us the means to do this, we don’t have to rely on our own devices. God is our ultimate guide for perspective.
Prayer: God, help me seek a higher wisdom than what’s here on Earth to see and touch. Help me to rely more on you and less on my own devices. Thank you for sending your Son, our Savior, to learn how to love others. In Jesus name. Amen.
Author: Claire Marston, Elder class of 2023
[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].