Devotional Journey--Day 1

Welcome, everybody! I hope you're excited about this 14-day devotional journey together. It's not too late to join us. If you'd like to download the free GFL devotional, just click here and follow the prompts!

Okay, so Day 1: "Spirituality vs. Jesus." I don't know about you, but this one hit me. While I've never been the sort to describe myself as "spiritual" when describing my faith, I certainly have fallen prey to this "consumer" mentality of practicing religion that Frederica writes about: "What appears to be very intentional involvement with spiritual things can actually be simply

the taking up of a new beauty regimen." And I'm just about as good as sticking to the practicing of spiritual things as I am about sticking to new beauty regimens. Which - since most of you don't know me all that well - is not very good.

But I love her antidote to this ugly self-centered spirituality - focusing on the "compelling beauty of our Lord." Now that's something that's easy to stick with. Because once you really seek - and then see - the face of Jesus, once you see how he interacted with people, how he loved (and loves!), it IS hard to look away.

One of today's "Reflect" questions asks, "How have times of intense focus on Jesus - his life and his teachings - been meaningful in your own life?" I'd love to hear from you on this. For me, the most meaningful encounters I've had with Jesus have come from studying the way he "handled" outcasts. The story of Jesus and Zacchaeus - when Jesus invites himself over to this scoundrel's house for dinner, presumably to hang out and chat and get to know someone society scorned - blows me away. The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman - where Jesus approaches this woman (bad enough, in that day) of ill-repute and sits down with her for a sip of water (totally NOT DONE!), again to chat and get to know someone society shunned - reaches deep nooks in my heart. To know that Jesus loves and wants to get to know those of us who might live on some edges, who struggle with deep sins (and who of us doesn't!), makes me never want to look away from that face.

Now you go. What touches and moves your heart when you focus on the life and teachings of Jesus?

January 05, 2009 at 4:00 AM

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