LENT DEVOTIONS (WEEK 4)
This week we move from a place of a challenge to a place of familiarity. The Lenten passage this week is one that is well known across many Christian denominations. For our devotion, we focus on the latter half of this passage and how it might inspire us in a new and fresh way.
SCRIPTURE: John 3:19-21
DISCUSSION: Take some time to talk about or draw on paper different opposites that you see in your everyday life? What can you learn from them? Together, think of and share times that light was helpful. Also, think of and share times where light was uncomfortable. This John passage urges us to seek truth and to live in the light. What might that look like for you in your home? In your school? In your community?
ACTIVITY: One way that we can follow Jesus is by looking for ways to share the “light of Christ” with others. Our John passage shares that when we live in the light, others will understand that our actions are in line with God’s purposes. But how can we increase our awareness of following the light of Christ? This week, consider using the following verse from the letter to the Philippians as a guide. “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8). This Sunday evening, gather as a family and brainstorm how you can live in a way that shines Christ’s light in your church, school, community this week. Write down or draw the example you choose. As your act of fasting this week, make the choice to practice your example of Christ’s light in the world. Make a point to check in with each other during the week by asking, “How are you choosing light today?”
PRAYER: God of love and light, You gave us your Son to conquer death and bring us into life. To lead us out of darkness and illuminate our paths with light. Help us this week and every week to learn how to choose light and to share that light with each other so that we may know the vastness of your love for us and for this world. AMEN.
1. Share a memorable story of when you or someone you know ran out of fuel while driving / mowing the lawn / barbequing / using a snow blower, etc. What stands out to you about that experience?
2. We often don’t change when we see the light – we first need to feel the heat…we won’t change until we feel enough pain. Why do you think many of us continue to live an overloaded, stressed-out life? Why don’t we get fed up with it and make needed changes in our life rhythms?
3. Jesus said: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
What did Jesus have in mind when He said, “Come to me”? What actions are needed for us to “come to Jesus”? How is this different from society’s solution to getting rest?
4. Describe how being yoked to Jesus could lighten a load you are carrying.
5. Describe how being yoked to Jesus might help you live life at a healthier pace.
6. What is it that you feel Jesus is teaching you at this point in your journey? What do you sense is an area you need to do some growing in your spiritual journey right now?
7. What is the difference between getting physical rest and getting rest for your soul? How are they linked?
8. What is significant about Jesus saying that He is gentle and humble at heart? Why would this give you rest for your soul?
9. How would staying connected to your church family lighten the load in your life?
10. How have you sensed God speaking to you through this study? What are you going to do about it?