Clever Words: a Lenten Devotional
A Clever Word for the Season of Lent
A Clever Verse for Context
No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful (pistos), and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Paul tells us that God is faithful (pistos). We humans are faithful too, but our quirks and flaws can sometimes distract from how holy that faithfulness can be. Our own lives are sustained and nourished by the imperfect people who are nevertheless faithful. I’m talking about the people who show up help lead worship even if they know they’re going to once again say Philippines instead of Philippians, the people who sing off key because someone needs to sing that hymn, gosh darn it, and the people who always managed to say the wrong thing and so just show up with a casserole and a smile, because it's the right thing to do. God is faithful and so we are empowered to be faithful too, never knowing just how much of God’s Kingdom is built by the faithful showing up of imperfect people.
The historian Herodotus uses the word faithful (pistos ) in a way that gives us a better appreciation for the full range of the word’s meaning. Harpagus, the servant of King Astyages, is described as being most faithful (pistotaton). He is described in this way as the King gives him the unpleasant and morally questionable task of disposing of the King’s infant grandson, whom the King believes to be a threat. Harpagus’ faithfulness is presented in terms of his ability to see the grim task through and do so discreetly. Though to find out just how pistos Harpagus turns out to be, I’d recommend you investigate Herodotus’ The Histories.
Clever Questions for Further Reflection
Who are the imperfect yet faithful people in your life? How have they helped and sustained you?
When have you been faithful and a friend, spouse, or confidant?
A Clever Prayer to Close
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
3/26/2019 05:20:30 am
OK - so I don't have Herodotus History in my library at home. What happened?? Please ??
Pastor Emily Olsen
3/27/2019 08:12:56 am
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About the Blog
Journey through the season of Advent with daily updates on the adventures of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Belliacre, MI as they attempt to cobble together a Christmas Pageant with an unlikely cast of characters.
Stephanie is an art educator and a landscape/portrait artist. Her inspirations come from the amazing people she meets and the gorgeous state of Michigan as well as her home state of Florida. She and he husband love nature. They are out in the water during the summer months and on the snow in the winter enjoying the simple pleasures of life.