Salvation - Lent Devotional @ Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

In the passage below, Jesus is addressing some of his followers on Palm Sunday, shortly after his jubilant entry into Jerusalem. Here Jesus rejects judgment in favour of salvation, and contrasts himself as light against the darkness of the world. It’s a striking juxtaposition: light and salvation compared to darkness and judgment. It’s particularly applicable today when our world appears consumed with judgment, struggling with the consequent darkness that judgment produces.

The behaviour of work colleagues, the attitudes of friends, the opinions of strangers online – our day is full of opportunities to judge, and for the most part, we don’t hold back. Whether positive or negative, we train our mindset to critique and seek out fault and failing. Judgments close down possibilities, blocking out the possibility of hope for a different future; judgments keep score, blinding us to the overwhelming power of God’s love, utterly unearned by us.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus received a public judgment, the short-lived adulation of the crowd as he entered Jerusalem. Less than a week later, this judgment of the masses had turned against him and the crowd demanded his execution. As we approach the end of Lent and the passage of Holy Week, where is judgment closing our mind to hope and forgiveness and the possibility of a different tomorrow? Where might we be praising God on the Sunday and shunning him by mid-week?

Merciful God, thank You for not holding my shortcomings against me, but instead counting all that I do wrong as naught. Open my heart to the wondrous possibilities created by hope in Your teachings. Shine Your light into my life that I may not live in the darkness of judgment but see Your path clearly ahead. Amen.

John 12:46-47

“I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful
journey of reflection through Lent.

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