The following is the fifth installment in a weekly Lenten devotional for families, by Mary Jane Pierce Norton of the UMC’s Discipleship Ministries. We hope it helps you to know God a little better during these solemn forty days of repentance and preparation.
Week 4 – Week of March 26: Jesus Helps Us See
Scripture: John 9:1-12
Symbol: Bowl of Dirt
Discussion & Activity: Read together John 9:1-12. When we read Scripture, we are often confronted with happenings that, to our logical minds, do not seem possible. Think about what you have just read. Jesus puts mud on the man’s eyes, and he sees? How fantastic is that! It had to be miraculous for his followers to witness this. And as the story attests, it was hard for those who saw the man to believe what had happened. How much more difficult it is for us to understand because we can only read the account? We can’t see for ourselves.
The simple message for Lent is that those who follow Jesus are able to see more clearly. Followers of Jesus are able to see more clearly the behaviors we need to exhibit as children of God. Followers of Jesus are able to see more clearly ways to serve God. Followers of Jesus are able to see more clearly the responses demanded of us to situations of injustice.
As you talk about the Scripture, place your hands in the dirt. Mix it with water to make mud. Think about how Jesus placed this on the eyes of the man who could not see.
This is a difficult message for adults – as well as for children and youth. In your family, talk about what difficult decisions you need to make this week. Talk about how you see what the right response needs to be. Talk about ways you see one another as God sees each of you.
Create portraits of each family member. On a piece of paper, draw a face – or just a circle – for each family member. Talk together and decide what words best describe each family member. Write these words in the face or circle. This week, pray for all family members, thanking God for all that they are.
Gracious God: We are reminded that through the teachings of Jesus, we are able to see ways God would want us to live our lives.
And we are able to see each person as a loved child of God.
Help us look at one another as God would look at us.
And may we help one another choose the actions and words that help those around us know of God’s love as well.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.