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Lenten Devotional: Feb. 26

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Today’s texts: Genesis 40:1-23; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Mark 2:13-22

“Those who are well have no need of a physician.”

Mark 2:13-17

If it wasn’t for the yearly physical reports required by the schools, I am not sure my parents ever would have brought us to the doctor.  As far as we were concerned, my Dad was our doctor.  Where he grew up regular doctor visits just did not happen, especially if you were seemingly healthy!  My Dad might agree with Jesus when he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician!”

But now as an adult, and a Mom, who believes in preventative health care, my Dad and I probably do not wholly agree about doctor visits, but I think we both would agree that Jesus simply did not mean that he came only for the tax collectors and the obviously sick.

It’s as if Jesus, in his very Asian-like indirect way, was saying to the Scribes, “I came for those who recognize that they need me.”  In other words, once you labeled yourself righteous you have turned away from what Jesus offered.

Sometimes it’s hard to be open about our struggles, sins, and illnesses, even to ourselves.  But the Lenten season, with its focus on our relationship with Jesus, reminds us that the blessings from Christ can only come when we recognize our need for him.

We may seemingly have a healthy Spiritual life—active in church, praying out loud, not doing “bad” things—but let us not be like those who focus on the outward appearance only.  Let us not be ashamed to be counted among the sinners at Jesus’ feet and open ourselves up to his healing and resurrection power.

Rev. Marie Onwubuariri is Pastor of MacArthur Community Baptist Church, San Pablo, CA and Director of Recruitment at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, CA.

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