Slow Lent Week 4 – With Jesus in the darkness of doubt


7 Mar 2018

Welcome to week four, click the link below for how to get started with Slow Lent.

Introduction and Suggested Process

Download week 4 PDF

Gospel – John 3:14-21 (Sunday 11 March 2018)

‘And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’

Gospel readings are taken from NRSV Bible.

Daily questions


This Gospel reading shows Jesus having a conversation with someone who doubts that he is the Son of God. What struck me in the reading?


Jesus says that those who don’t believe in him are condemned. Have there been times when my faith in Jesus has faltered? How might my faith be deepened?


The reading presents us with a choice to live in darkness or the light. How do I feel about this choice? How might I live more in the light than the darkness?


Our faith in Jesus can falter at times. How can I prepare myself for times when I might experience doubt and despair in the future?


What have I discovered while spending time with Jesus in the darkness of doubt this week?

Video clip: Burning candle

(You might use your music or the silence of the video).



The earth is beset by violence, corrupt uses of power, wars without end and the destruction of whole ecosystems. My own life can be stressed, troubled and full of upheaval.

I begin today’s meditation by taking time to consider a proverb – ‘it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’ In the times I find myself in the midst of darkness lighting a candle can help me to remember the promise that light will overcome.

I call to mind the ways my contributions can begin meaningful conversations, my love can open new possibilities, and my actions can form a world where people will flourish.

I consider my choices:
to love courageously or to withdraw into my shell;
to act in hope or to wallow in desperation;
to give kindness to others or to turn away with bitterness;
to listen to others or to close off my heart;
to speak up for people or to stay quiet about injustice;
to take up the responsibilities of service or to retire to my comforts;
to care for our planet or to make peace with destroying it;
to pray for insight or to rely on myself;
to share the burden or to keep my own counsel;
to notice the light or to despair of the dark.

My life is full of decisions which can light another candle.

Resources written by James O'Brien. Edited by Michael McVeigh.
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