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Burned

Burned

Daily Devotion for Lent | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

lent wednesdays worship 4 or 7 pm family meal 5 to 6:30 pm Immanuel Lutheran Church Joplin, Missouri www.immanueljoplin.com

Read Mark 14:53-55.

And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. (Mark 14:54b)

small fire with sparks swirling upwardChoosing a place to sit shouldn’t be a big deal, should it? Jesus was on trial for His life in the high priest’s house, and Peter wanted a place to see what would happen to Him. But he didn’t dare get too close—someone might recognize him as a disciple and arrest him, too.

So Peter stayed in the courtyard outside the main hall. It was cold and dark out there, and he was shivering. The guards who had arrested Jesus were cold, so they made a fire and sat around it. Peter joined them to get warm.

Oh, Peter! Must you sit among Jesus’ enemies just to get warm? No doubt he thought he could pass unnoticed in the shadows. But fire casts light as well as heat, and a servant girl saw and accused him. “You were with Jesus,” she said. He panicked and denied it; then his seatmates joined in: “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” one asked.

You know the rest of the story. Peter must have bitterly regretted his choice to sit with Jesus’ enemies.

But we do that too, don’t we? At lunchtime, when we sit with coworkers who are tearing down someone else’s reputation. Or in a conference room, when someone suggests a way to cheat the system and make more money. Or at a political rally, where angry people are cheering policies that harm “the least of these, My brothers” (see Matthew 25:40).

We could speak up. We could say something. But we are afraid. We don’t want to be crucified either. And so we rank ourselves with Jesus’ enemies and deny our Lord. What hope is there for us?

Only the same hope Peter had—that Jesus Himself has suffered for us, laying down His life for faithless friends and enemies alike. We know that He will meet our tears with forgiveness, our evil with cleansing, and the death in our hearts with new life. He can do this, because He has died and risen again—for us.

THE PRAYER: Lord, cast Your light upon my life. Is there some group or situation You don’t want me to participate in? Let me know, and give me a heart to serve You willingly. Amen.

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministrieslhm.org/lent

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About These Devos

SILENT WITNESSES Lenten Devotions 2018

For Christians, the season of Lent is marked by deep reflection on the appearance of the Savior and, naturally, what His life, suffering, death, and resurrection mean for our lives now. God’s human involvement in our world is a perfect example of His intimate love for us. He spared nothing to make Himself known to us—a fact that proclaims in no uncertain terms how “God so loved the world.” In Silent Witnesses, readers will note both the majestic—and mundane—aspects of the Gospel accounts: stories telling how God in His infinite power came down and “has spoken to us by His Son.”

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.

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