The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church

Lent 2018: Day Five

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Do you know someone who is now facing trouble with police, the IRS, or the government for not knowing what the law says? “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse!” We’ve heard those words repeatedly.

A few weeks ago, I heard a politician say to the family of a loved one being deported, “Our hearts are with you, but the law is not!” And so, the father being deported got on an airplane leaving his wife and his two daughters behind. So sad! No mercy, no compassion. What a painful separation!

When the psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” he was referring to the Law of Moses. He writes, “I do not forget your law…Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.” (Psalm 119: 109-112)

During this Lenten season, as we think of God’s word as being a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, there are a few thoughts we must consider. We need to go beyond the Law of Moses.

First, Lent reminds us of God’s amazing grace. We belong to a merciful and compassionate God. If we break the law, with true repentance there is forgiveness. How many of us can say, grace is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path? I will love others the same way God loves me; I will be merciful to others because God has been merciful to me.

Second, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” (1 Timothy 3:16-17) How many of us can say, in this broken and confused world and society, the Bible is a lamp to my feet? How many of us are preaching that from the pulpit?

Third, the word is Jesus. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) As we hear so many voices of men and women who may or may not inspire us, how many of us can say, “Jesus, no matter what happens, you and only you, are a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Do we preach that from the pulpit?

Prayer: Father in heaven, this world is a jungle where we can easily get lost. We need your help. Walk with us each day. Lead the way. Reveal to us your grace. Let your Holy Spirit help us understand the Scripture. Give us wisdom to imitate the Word made flesh, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen.

Rev. Jose Vindel
Rialto United Methodist Church
East District