[#pictureLent] March 12: PEOPLE

12 Feb 24 Think-01.jpg

By Rev. Loida Divine
Community United Methodist Church/Associate Pastor
Fruitland Park, Florida

First, read Jeremiah 31:31-34

When I was born a short 13 months after my sister, I think my parents were shocked and surprised to have another baby in the house.

My sister and I ended up growing up as close as twins since we were so near in age. One consequence of being on the tail end was that from the day I was born I always got the hand-me-downs. Everything I wore and possessed had once belonged to my sister. While I was blessed to have what I needed, at times it was hard to always be dressed in clothing that had wear and tear.

One birthday my dad presented me with a new brand new pair of dress shoes! To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. I was so excited that I wore those shoes day and night—yes, even to bed—for the next few days.

To me there are two things that jump out in today’s scripture. One of them is that God wants to do something new. In our disposable culture, most of us have become accustomed to frequently having new things––to the point where the wonder of newness fades too quickly. However, there might be some intangible areas where we crave for something new, such as justice in a world of injustice, peace in a war-torn world, unity in the midst of division, and restoration in the face of brokenness. Whatever we have been doing in the past is not working anymore and God envisions something we cannot see. God has a plan for something new.

The second point that jumps out at me is that God is doing something new for his people. Who are these people? Am I one of those people? God’s people are anyone and everyone who accepts the loving grace God offers. God’s desire is for all to come, for all to be counted as God’s people, and for all to receive something new.

This Lent season, some of us might be discouraged. Maybe brokenness surrounds us. We are desperately searching for something new. We are hoping God will do something new among the people. Good news! This is God’s promise we can receive: “I will put my law in your minds and write it on your hearts. I will be your God, and you will be my people.” Today, breathe in the assurance that you belong, breathe in the newness of what God is doing, breathe in and know that God is with us.

Prayer: Lord God, today I desire to breathe in the new hope you have for my loved ones and for me. I also want to share that newness of what you are doing with everyone I encounter today: at work, at school, at play, at the grocery store, at church. Let me share your good news to all people. Amen!

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Name some of the people groups that surround your community. How do you participate with them in the newness of what God is doing?
  2. What are some old things in your life that you need to leave behind? 
  3. What new thing is God offering you that you could pick up?