Every day during Lent, members of Oconee Street UMC will write a Lenten devotional and share with the congregation.
by Gail Hanula
March 26, 2014
Luke 1:67-75. Summary: People wanted a savior to rescue them from the hand of their enemies. They were ready for a military savior but not for a peaceful Messiah.
Have you ever been given a gift you didn’t really want? You say thanks but you wonder what the gift giver was thinking when they chose it for you… Growing up, I could expect to receive a gift I didn’t want from my Grandmother every year for Christmas and again for my birthday. She didn’t have a lot of money, and she gave only one gift. I would see the tiny wrapped box and know just what it was not. It was not a Betsy Wetsy doll, it wasn’t a new bike, and it definitely was not a puppy. Sigh. No, it was what it always was. A box to be opened, acknowledged with thanks but an ungrateful heart, and tossed aside.
My Grandmother was a wise and thoughtful woman. She knew her granddaughters would not be grateful for individual pearls. But she chose to be intentionally generous with her resources. She knew that in time we would see the bigger picture and appreciate that we had been given something far better than what we thought we wanted when we were children. As a woman of faith, I believe she was also giving us something tangible to remind us that our plans are not always God’s plan.
The people in Jesus’ day wanted a savior to rescue them from the hand of their enemies, a strong military-type. Jesus did not fit the picture of what they thought they needed; he wasn’t the gift they wanted and they weren’t grateful. But God had a plan, a bigger picture in mind for his children. We can see this when we read the Bible and put all the pearls together, just like the beautiful necklace I now have that my grandmother gave me, one pearl at a time.
I am so fortunate to be able to read God’s word. I am grateful for the teachers who taught me to read and for the opportunity to help others learn to read at Action Ministries. I’m also grateful for these daily devotionals which are helping me get back on track with daily Bible reading. Thanks be to God.
Lord, thank you for the Bible and for the ability to read it. Help me to be a better steward of the resources I have been given, spending time and money on things that truly matter, including reading the Bible daily and sharing my gifts with others. Amen.