Lenten Devotional, 4/1/2012


Sunday, April 1
(Palm Sunday)
Jesus Never Said Everyone Was Lovable!

Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out, two by two...  -- Mark 6:7

Bishop Clay Lee published a book of sermons preached at Galloway United Methodist Church. The title of the book is Jesus Never Said Everyone Was Lovable! In the first sermon on the scope of discipleship, Bishop Lee writes:

"A strong lesson for us in the church today is found in Jesus' instructions to his disciples as he sent them out on that initial venture. We do need to struggle with that temptation of choosing whom to serve. More particularly, we need to wrestle with the temptation of hoarding God's goodness, making it our own personal possession.

"Let me tell you about a tribe in African known as the Masai, a race of strong, tall people. This particular tribe has always believed in one god, Engai. They believe Engai is passionately involved in his people's lives; that he loves the rich more than the poor, the healthy more than the sick, the virtuous more than the wicked. Engai favors the Masai over every other tribe, protecting them against their enemies.

"You could almost call that attitude primitive if it were not for the fact that such a view of God is held by many people in our society today. Our lesson is to capture Jesus' understanding of God. We are to respond with simplicity and trust and generosity, just as Jesus instructed his disciples. Then we will be on the road to the Kingdom."

Prayer: Gracious God, make us givers of grace today, and tomorrow, and every day. Amen.

Clay Lee is retired United Methodist bishop living in Mississippi and an active participant in the ministries of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church.