Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sunday Lectionary Devotions - Battlefield

Sunday's Lectionary Verse

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Years ago, when I was nineteen, I moved into an apartment in the south side of Glasgow, my hometown. I stayed in a place called Battlefield, which was named after a Scottish civil war struggle in the sixteenth century, in which Mary, Queen of Scots and her army were defeated.

The apartment was leased by one of my insurance co-workers, who hailed from Aberdeen. He had as heavy a drinking reputation as I did, so it wasn't the best of circumstances for me to put myself in. I had to pay a month's rent in advance, and I owed my Dad a month's rent in arrears. When I paid my debts in full, I had practically nothing for food and transport, but I made certain that I had enough for beer and whisky.

It was one of the longest months of my life. The only thing I ate was bread without butter and some peanuts in the bars I frequented. I don't know what sustained me, but I can remember trying to chew grass and eating daffodils. My life was messed up because of drink, but it never occurred to me to ask for help to stop being an alcoholic, or to seek God's wisdom at that time. I believed in the lie that I could handle it all on my own. I was much too proud, and utterly wasted by my addiction.

I never reached the point of starvation, but I did know the pangs of hunger, which I experienced through my own stupidity. It was a hard lesson to learn. When I read passages like today's and hear Christ speaking to me through them, I'm reminded of my past foolishness, but at the same time, of my wonderful recovery, which only came through Christ's grace and His mercy.

He is the Bread of life. He is the One who sustains us through good and bad times. He has the power to lead us beyond our problems and enable us to discover a better way, a truer life. That's why we call Him 'Savior'. That's why we need Him to be our Lord.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes our own stupidity puts us into desperate and dangerous positions. Sometimes we make a mess of the lives that You graciously give to us. Thank You for being patient, for watching over us, and for giving us the opportunity to see in You all our hopes and dreams, all our goals and purposes being fulfilled. In Your Holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He writes the regular devotional "Heaven's Highway," which he sometimes podcasts with his Scottish accent.

Today's image is taken from a new series of free worship bulletin covers that John aka Stushie illustrates.

1 comment:

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christena
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