Hope to Carry On: March 4, 2024

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18

When I saw that this passage was one of the epistles for Lent this year, I had to laugh because I knew what I would write about when my turn came up: my dad’s reaction to my conversion to Christianity.

My dad is not religious, and he pokes a lot of fun at the hypocrisy of a lot of religious people. I grew up seeing televangelists as the example of what Christianity was, and it took a lot of really positive contact with Christian people to change my heart and my attitude toward the faith. When I decided to become a Christian, I was a bit afraid of telling my dad. He and my mom were supportive of my decision for the most part, but there was definitely some shock under the surface on his part, and I have taken more than a little bit of teasing about the decision I made. To his credit, he has tried to learn more about what I believe, but it still shocks him that his scientifically-trained daughter, who went to a hippie college, could embrace a belief system that seemingly eschews science and has some less-than-positive people as its public voice.

One of the things that I cannot make him or anyone else understand is the power of the Cross in my life, and why something so anti-scientific is so compelling to me. Blaise Pascal put it best when he said that “there is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.” The word “vacuum” gets rendered as “hole” in a lot of translations of that quote, and it really did feel like I had a God-shaped hole inside of me as I fought depression as a teenager and tried to make sense of my life. The almost 30 years since my conversion have not been easy ones, but I have survived because of the power of God and the love shown in Christ’s death on the Cross. That love changes my life daily, and I cannot imagine my life any other way. It is my hope to carry on.

Thank you, God, that you chose to reveal Yourself to me and love me enough to send your Son to die on the Cross. Amen.
-Jen McCabe