Lent 2009 Index

Feb 25
Feb 26
Feb 27
Feb 28
Mar 1
Mar 2
Mar 3
Mar 4
Mar 5
Mar 6
Mar 7
Mar 8
Mar 9
Mar 10
Mar 11
Mar 12
Mar 13
Mar 14
Mar 15
Mar 16
Mar 17
Mar 18
Mar 19
Mar 20
Mar 21
Mar 22
Mar 23
Mar 24
Mar 25
Mar 26
Mar 27
Mar 28
Mar 29
Mar 30
Mar 31
Apr 1
Apr 2
Apr 3
Apr 4
Apr 5
Apr 6
Apr 7
Apr 8
Apr 9
Apr 10
Apr 11
Apr 12

THE PARABLES
ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD

Welcome to the 2009 edition of Daily Devotions for Lent. Most of our devotional texts this year are taken from parables spoken by Jesus; a few come from Old Testament prophecy.

Jesus, like all good preachers, used analogy, simile and metaphor to get his message across. He often told short stories, or parables, to illustrate his teaching points.

Parables of Jesus tend to share certain characteristics. Many use agricultural imagery. There are sheep, goats, figs (lots of figs!), grapes, wheat, seeds, weeds and trees. Something – a coin, a lamb, a child – is always getting lost in parables, but the lost is always found. Some parables are set in the workplace, some in humble homes, others in mansions of the rich and famous. Whatever the venue, parables generally reflect the everyday lives of disciples or experiences they would understand.

Parables also share the quality of complexity. They may look short and simple, but looks can be deceiving. We who read in 2009 may not even understand the basic imagery. After all, the fig tree is not an automatic symbol of abundance to us as it would have been to the Jews of Jesus’ day. To us, yeast is just yeast and carries no necessary connotation of the Messianic Kingdom. “Talent” is a skill successful people leverage to earn large amounts of money; it is not the money itself.

Our writers have struggled mightily to unravel the mysteries of their assigned texts. It hasn’t been easy, because the parables aren’t easy. These aren’t all sweet stories about love, compassion and happy endings. They are insights into the mind of God, providing revelations of God’s will for us now and glimpses of God’s plan for the kingdom that is yet to come.

We pray that you will share our Lenten journey. Open your mind and your heart. Encounter God through the parables!

For the Devotional Ministry Team,
Dallas Cronk, coordinator

Marcia Werts, copy editor
Mark Yeskie, webmaster
Lori East, graphic designer
Debbie Stephens, production manager