Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on May 6, 2015.
Prayer: Dear God, how amazing it is that with you we can overcome the world. With your commands to guide us, help us feel strengthened already. Amen
Reading: I John 5: 1-6 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Have you ever felt like you were carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Have you ever seen someone looking as if they were? We all know the feeling. Sometimes we load the burdens on ourselves but more often the burdens seem to land on us: illness, sorrow, career changes, relationship struggles. Shoulders droop and spirits sink.
In the midst of everything else in life, God's commands could feel like just another burden to carry. However, our text today assures us God's commands are not burdensome. In fact, when we are born of God, we have the strength to overcome what the world throws on us. Follow the command to love God and love others through the illness, the sorrow, the changes and struggles; through the health, the joy, the stillness and peace. Burdens and blessings seen through love give us strength. That is faith; that is victory!
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