Lent Devotional Day 2

Day 2
Thursday, February 23

John 1:19-34
19 This is John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 John confessed (he didn’t deny but confessed), “I’m not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” John said, “I’m not.”“Are you the prophet?” John answered, “No.”
22 They asked, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied,
“I am a voice crying out in the wilderness,
    Make the Lord’s path straight,[a]
    just as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Those sent by the Pharisees 25 asked, “Why do you baptize if you aren’t the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered, “I baptize with water. Someone greater stands among you, whom you don’t recognize. 27 He comes after me, but I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps.” 28 This encounter took place across the Jordan in Bethany where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is really greater than me because he existed before me.’ 31 Even I didn’t recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be made known to Israel.” 32 John testified, “I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it rested on him. 33 Even I didn’t recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and testified that this one is God’s Son.”


We love to name things. We enjoy order, categories, and knowing where and how things fit. Perhaps this comes from our God-given job all the way back in Genesis to name the creatures of the world. John came onto the scene, wild, outspoken, and not fitting into any categories the priests and Levites had. They show up asking for clarification. I can picture them, like us, scratching their heads and thinking, this man has an audacious message. How do we categorize him? How do we understand him? Let’s go and ask him, ask him to name himself in terms we understand. John couldn’t and wouldn’t do that. 

Lent. Lent is about quieting our spirits. Spending time in the thinness of God. Praying, fasting, asking for signs and wonders. It is not an easy posture to hold. Our society does not praise quietness and slowness. We are a culture of hustle. We are a world of 30-second videos and instant posts. Lent calls us to something much more. Quieting our spirits, drawing near to God, and spending time in this spiritual thinness is audacious. If we can embrace this posture for the next 40 days, I do not believe we will be sad to see the fruit that will sprout and grow. Allowing, inviting, and welcoming God into our mundane, into our quiet moments, asking them to reveal signs and perhaps show us wonders, has the power to transform the coming year.

I am reminded of a particular time in my life when everything had turned topsy-turvy. I was walking through a separation in my marriage, and through that separation, it became clear that divorce was the next part of my path. I was devastated. My marriage had been a battle for me, one I had fought and was willing to fight for. It wasn’t a battle I wanted to lose. I wouldn’t have believed it was a battle God wanted me to walk away from. Yet, as I searched for God, for signs, for answers, during those painful months, I felt God draw incredibly close to me and whisper courage and strength. God came to me in the mundane moments of driving my kids to school. In the moments of laundry and dishes and crying on the floor. God came to me when I took a weekend to go camping and sat in the woods, the bright winter sky blue above me, the breeze swaying the pine trees, and as I sat on those soft pine needles, I felt that whisper tell me to keep going in the way I was going. It didn’t need to make sense, it didn’t need to look neat, pretty, or ‘how it should be’. I should just continue and follow God’s leading. It was audacious. It was exactly what I needed to do.

Draw close to God in this season of Lent, and let God whisper to you in the wilderness.

By A.R. Stanley
Posted in
Posted in ,

No Comments