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Lenten Devotional 3-19-2024

Hello All! Today’s devotional comes from Frederick Gooding, Jr. (AKA, “Dr. G). Dr. G is the Ronald E. Moore Endowed Professor of Humanities and Associate History Professor of African American Studies within the John V. Roach Honors College at TCU.  Featured in national outlets such as “New York Times,” “USA TODAY,” and “TIME magazine,” Dr. G is a professor of pop culture who engages audiences on subtle racial patterns “hidden in plain sight.” Dr. G is an asset to TCU, and is always ready for intentional conversation with both colleagues and students. In the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, we’ve seen this first hand as Dr. G engages both our student leaders and members of our Campus Ministry Council on best practices for creating inclusive communities within our religious organizations on campus. I hope his words sit with you today and throughout the week ahead as we begin our preparation for Palm Sunday.

I Corinthians 9:16-18

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.”

Spreading the Good Gospel

 Many moons ago, nine wise men from Staten Island said it best, “cash rules everything around me” (Wu Tang, “C.R.E.A.M.” 1993). While many of us who believe in the glory of the gospel, the reality with which we must reconcile is that we nonetheless operate with in a capitalistic society whereby worth and value are constantly assessed. Accordingly, as “time is money,” it is not uncommon for people to evaluate how they stand to gain or profit from an experience before they even agree to participate. Conceivably, the worst possible outcome is to do something later adjudged to be a waste of time.

However, this scripture provides an alternative metric for the faithful. In asking, “what is my reward, then?” The reward for doing the right thing is indeed the right thing itself! As with the other son who was confused about why his father would slay the fattest calf upon the prodigal son’s return, the father explained that the son who stayed was reaping the blessings of a loving family life the whole time — blessings that perhaps the prodigal son took for granted

We therefore should not take for granted that there are numerous ways to gain from spreading the good gospel of thanksgiving — and financial gain is only but one means to do so. When we willingly share the love our Creator has for us with others, we all stand to gain and become collectively enriched.

Let Us Pray

 Dear Lord, may we continue to give thanks for the glory of the gospel! In all of our thanksgiving, we wish not to harbor such blessings for ourselves, yea Lord, but we wish to freely share the good gospel with others of our own free volition. Knowing that it is truly better to give than to receive, may we continue to do the best we can with what we have to give to our fellow brothers and sisters in the name of true fellowship. Amen.


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