Weekly Student Devotional for the Season of Lent
The Christian season of Lent begins this year on Wednesday, March 1st, and continues until Sunday, April 18th. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a holy day during which Christians are meant to reflect on their own limitations and mortality and remember their need for God. During the 40 days of Lent, Christians are called to reflect on their life of faith and their dependence on God for life, forgiveness, and salvation. Easter marks the end of Lent and the beginning of a season of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of new life.
Student Devotional for the Third week of Lent
Then they all went home, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
We all have sin. We don’t all like to talk about it. Or if we do, we tend to put it on a scale. It’s very tempting and very easy to quantify sin. To say that this sin is worse than that sin or so on and so forth. It might be okay to curse, but it’s not okay to commit adultery. Is that true? Is that the way that God sees it? What view of sin do you have – God’s or the world’s? God sees all sin the same – something that separates us from Him. No matter the deed, we are all taking steps that separate us from God in some capacity; we are human and we will inevitably fall into sin. What matters more than what we did is what we do: that we repent and take steps to move closer to God. A close, intimate relationship with God is possible for everyone regardless of what their past holds. God has no limits on His love and goodness.
The problem is us. We like to impose limits on God. We like to pretend that someone’s sin is worse than our own – even though we ourselves may not be trying to grow in relationship with Christ. That’s what’s going on in this passage from John. We tend to quantify sin so that it’s easier for us to judge others. We want to throw stones at those whose sin appears to be worse than our own. And isn’t it easy to say that someone else’s sin is worse than your own? I catch myself falling into that habit almost every day. I have to make an effort to look at myself critically and objectively. I must reflect on my relationship with Christ and focus on myself. I believe that we all need to do this. And – surprise – it’s kinda hard. It’s not always a fun time, but it is absolutely necessary to do so. This season of Lent provides us a dedicated time to examine ourselves before going out and sharing the joy of Easter.
Abigail Holt, Class of 2018