Lent Devotions: Day 21
Read: Lamentations 2:5-8; Jeremiah 52:12-23
Center-less and Structure-less
He has destroyed his tabernacle. (Lamentations 2:6)
As a student, I find structure and identity in the weekly rhythms of reading, writing, and studying. I like having a syllabus to order my schedule and a constant flow of assignments to work on. During breaks this can fall apart, and it takes a lot of energy to return to the set rhythms of school.
In a similar way, the temple of God provided structure for Israel’s life. It was seen as the throne of God and the place where the people of God were reconciled to him and to each other. When the temple was destroyed, the center of life crumbled and Jeremiah felt as if the world had lost its gravity. At the same time, the walls of the city were also destroyed (Lamentations 2:8). Without walls, Jerusalem was defenseless. The city had no protection from external threats and no structure for internal order. Imagine how difficult it was for Jeremiah to find hope amid his ruined city.
At the cross, we feel Jeremiah’s same de-centered, de-structured agony. The crucifixion of Jesus was a crisis: once again God’s dwelling place was taken violently. Living on this side of Easter, it is easy for us to jump over the anguish and desperation the crucifixion must have caused. Part of our Lenten journey is getting in touch with the center-less and structure-less feelings between the crucifixion and resurrection. —Cody Raak
Prayer: Lord, help us find our center at the cross, and our identity in the suffering of your Son.