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Devotions are short reflections on bible verses.  The reflection may help us understand the verses and historical context better, remind us of important teachings of Jesus or help us to see a story from a different perspective.

Calvary's weekly devotions are written by Pastor Zach, Deacon Tanya and members of Calvary.  They are emailed out weekly, posted here and on our Facebook page.  The most recent is below.  To view more, visit our Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 31st

Today’s devotion is based on Colossians 3:12-14


Colossians 3: 12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.


We say the Lord's Prayer every week during worship, and it is something that most of us memorized as children.  One of the lines we say, probably without really thinking about it most of the time is:


"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."


We learn about forgiveness during childhood when it's easier.  A child pushes another at the playground.  The pusher apologizes, and the one who is pushed is instructed to forgive and typically says something like "thank you" or "it's ok."  Then both kids usually get back to playing.  As adults though, forgiveness becomes harder.  How do we respond when someone truly breaks our trust and hurts us?  Do we say "I forgive you" or "It's ok" when we really do not and it certainly is not? 


We ask God to forgive us for our mistakes all of the time, and as stated in the Lord's prayer, we are, in turn, expected to forgive others. This passage from Colossians says: "Forgive as the Lord forgave you." God doesn't hold a grudge or keep ruminating on our sins. God forgives us fully and completely, and he does it constantly.   How can we work on not just forgiving but on forgiving as God forgives?  It's a tall order, but something we can strive for.


Let us pray:


Dear Lord,

Help us to remember how thoroughly and wholly you have forgiven and continue to forgive us.  Help us to try our best to do the same for others. Amen.

Thursday, May 25th

Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 19:16-22. 

Matthew 19:16-22

The Rich Young Man

16 Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. 19 Honor your father and mother. Also, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.


Jesus tells the man “If you wish to be perfect, give up everything and follow me.”  This isn’t too far off from what Jesus tells the disciples when he tells Simon-Peter and Andrew “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” Their reaction was to immediately drop their nets, giving up their security of survival, and followed Jesus.  Or when Jesus gives instructions for the mission of the disciples, sending them out to proclaim God and heal the sick.  He then told them “Take nothing for your journey: no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic.”  


It almost makes me think of this questioning rich man as the disciple that just didn’t make the cut.  Instead of ‘dropping his net’, he went away grieving.  He felt he kept the commandments and was wondering what more he could do.  When given the extreme of giving up all of his possessions, that was more than he was willing to do.  He wasn’t willing to give up his financial security and put his full faith in God and Jesus.  


I wonder, if I were there, would I make the cut?  Would I be willing to drop everything, give up all of my possessions and follow Jesus?  My practical brain tries to justify any hesitation by saying that we’re in a different time now. Survival is different, the world is not as community focused, and Jesus would never intend for me to give up my home and be homeless.  But isn’t that exactly what the disciples were willing to do?  


Often Jesus uses extremes to make his point.  In this case, it is the extreme of being perfect.  While in reality, none of us can achieve perfection.  But the case is, what are we unwilling to give up in order to be closer to God.  Maybe we’ll never be perfect, selling all of our possessions. But we often are given the opportunity to use what we have to help those in need around us, sharing our wealth, caring for the poor, using our voice to speak up for the oppressed, are just a few.  In those instances, will we lay down our nets or walk away grieving?


Lord, Help us to trust in you to always provide for us and to use those gifts to provide and take care of others. Amen

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