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Fifth Friday

A reading from 2 Corinthians 5

LISTEN

READ
2 Corinthians 5:16-21

CONTEMPLATE
Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside Church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now. 

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

We end our week in the same place we started, looking at the heart and not the outward appearance. What have you learned or taken away from this week about how to be more like Jesus in this regard?

Just as God was looking at David’s heart when he anointed him as king, Jesus is still looking at our hearts. He wants us to be united with him, as new creations, living new lives. He doesn’t want us to look the same anymore or to be judged by what the world judges. Jesus has given us new life. The old life is gone. Let it go! You are forgiven and made new.

With this new life comes the responsibility and privilege of showing others the way to Jesus. To be the light in the dark world. We have the joy of telling others, as Paul writes, “Become friends with God; he’s already a friend to you.” What a cool job we have. To be Jesus to others. To look at others the way Jesus does. We don’t want to be the Pharisees that make judgments  about people based on their rank in society or sicknesses. We want to bring those that are sick to the Doctor, the one that heals and makes news. The one that heals the blind man and then again goes to him to show him he’s not alone and has been with the Son of Man.

Find ways this weekend to bring light to the world. To live fully in your new life, letting the old go. And to be filled with the compassion of Jesus who redeems us.

PRAY

Discerner of hearts, you look beneath our outward appearance and see your image in each of us. Banish in us the blindness that prevents us from recognizing truth, so we may see the world through your eyes and with the compassion of Jesus Christ who redeems us. Amen.

WRITE and DISCUSS

  1. How can you improve on looking at someone’s heart instead of the outside appearance?
  2. How can you continue to learn to be a better friend to others?