Lent Devotions: Hope in God’s desire

March 22, 2017

Editor’s note: This Lent season, Bread Blog is running a series of devotionals written by staff, alumni, and friends of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). 

By Andy Deeb

Luke 5:12-16

A man with leprosy approaches Jesus. He's never seen Jesus before, never met him (at least as far as we know).

“You could heal me if you wanted to.”

Jesus doesn't miss a beat. He doesn't hesitate, he doesn't recoil at the sight of an “unclean” man approaching him. Instead, Jesus does the last thing anyone expects: he reaches out and touches the man.

“I want to. Be cleansed.”

How long had it been since someone had touched that man? How long had his illness kept him isolated?

Instantly the man’s leprosy left him. Instantly. Jesus then instructs him to go and begin the process of reintegration into the community.

Unfortunately, our own healing and the healing of the world around us is rarely so instant. Problems are not often resolved in a single moment. Sometimes I wonder why God can't simply come down and magically fix things. I find myself slipping into this line of thinking somewhat regularly these days. Creation cries for Creator, and no relief seems to come.

The key significance of today’s reading is not in the miraculous power of Jesus, but in the expression of God's desire. This desire is one that would see us healed and restored, a desire to see us connected, not alienated.

Remember this desire if you find yourself feeling bitter, hopeless, or burned out. When violence, hate, and bigotry seem to prevail over love, mercy, and justice, remember the cross. Darkness appeared to overcome the Light, but it was in this appearance of defeat that the Light prevailed. Though things may seem dark, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5). God’s desire will prevail.

Loving God, preserve our hope.

Andy Deeb is studying for his master of divinity at the San Fransciso Theological Seminary

Sometimes I wonder why God can't simply come down and magically fix things.

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


April 10, 2018

The Jobs Challenge

From the Blog