URC Daily Devotion Tuesday 12th March 2024

St Mark 12: 38 – 40

As Jesus taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets!  They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’

We live in a celebrity society – who’s doing what, where, when and with whom.  Lives of the rich and famous followed on social media or headline news in our papers and often emulated by those who follow.

Beware the scribes ….  ring any bells??  Not much has changed apart, maybe, from the accessibility to the exhibition.  We still have those who would use the phrase “do you know who I am?” to get what they want. Even ordinary people will sensationalise their posts on social media to make their lives appear exciting, when the truth is much more mundane.  We just want someone to notice us.

But we have also seen the dangers of celebrity – the breakdowns of those in the spotlight or the wrongdoings of those in power.  Do not believe everything that you read or see or hear as the reality is often different to the headline. 

So what about the widows and the “ordinary” and the unnoticed?  Are they any less valuable just because we do not follow every second of their lives?  How often do we forget the “little people” in our quest to be noticed.  Why do we treat celebrity differently when at the end of the day they are people, just like us?

Lent is a time of preparation and reflection – do we spend our Lent looking forward to the chocolate eggs; the long weekend?  Or do we allow ourselves to be drawn into the reality and darkness of Lent – the desperation in the Garden of Gethsemane; the changing of the shouts from Hosanna! to Crucify!

Jesus was a celebrity – he was followed; emulated; worshipped and yet gave himself for us.  May we follow his example and not chase the hype, but live the reality of life in Him.

Lord God, as we reflect this Lenten time, may our focus be on You and not ourselves.  May we remember all those who are in pain, the celebrity and the nobody.  For to you no-one is forgotten and everyone is valued and loved.  Help us to treat everyone with respect and show love and compassion, to all we meet.  Amen

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