The Christianity I grew up with, and is still common today, emphasized correct doctrine, signing on the dotted line of correct beliefs about Jesus. Right belief took precedence over right practice. But the gospel calls us to belief in Jesus, not merely belief about him. Belief in Jesus goes beyond having good belief statements about Jesus because it focuses on practice; learning to live in the way Jesus lived, seeing through the eyes of Jesus, thinking with the mind of Jesus, loving with the heart of Jesus. It is, therefore, urgent that we get Jesus right so that we live like him, the Jesus revealed in Scripture, and not like the Jesus we made up to fit our present lifestyles.
For this reason, I chose to focus attention during Lent on the Jesus that John’s Gospel presents. I will, for the most part, make an orderly way through John, beginning in chapter 1 and concluding with the resurrection story in chapter 20. Obviously, we’ll not read all of John in these seven weeks. Hopefully, these few passages will whet your appetite so that you return and complete a prayerful reading of the Gospel According to St John on your own.
The format of these devotions is based on the ancient way known as lectio divina (literally, sacred or holy reading). It’s a prayerful and slow reading with pauses for reflection and prayerful wondering. My format has 6 stages, beginning with a few minutes of silent preparation to be ready to hear God speak through this Word and conclude with a reminder that we’re supposed to go out and obediently live the Word, that is, live more and more like Jesus. If you find it helpful, follow these 6 stages in a prayerful and hope-filled way.
The title, Come and See, is from Jesus' invitation to the first two who followed him and thus, our Lenten journey in John begins with this story. As we continue this Lenten journey, keep wondering: What do I see in this text? What is Jesus wanting me to see? Keep the attitude of a beginner and learner, letting go the need for certainty and answers. Know what you see; don’t merely see what you already know.
Devotions will be posted daily in this space, beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Bookmark the page and make the journey to see more clearly.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.