Friday, April 7, 2017

Daily Devotion for Lent 2017 - Day 33, Friday

Today's Reading: John 16:16-33 (NRSV)

Christians take the long view.

Jesus is speaking about his death and resurrection in today's reading.  The difficulty will not last and the grief will have a stopping point.

As we think about suffering within our lives, we believe that God goes with us during the tough times.  We believe that the sun will rise after even the darkest night.  We are a resurrection people.

Some would say that the Christian world-view (at least where resurrection is concerned) is a kind of glass-half-full understanding.  It is optimistic.

Rain brings renewal.
Sometimes we appreciate it.
I would agree with this to a point, but I would also say that resurrection is more than a philosophy.  It is a belief that God is at work in the world on matter what.

When a child is hungry, God is suffering with that child. Some would say, "So what? The child still dies."

But God remains and inspires others to take up the cause of justice that no one should starve to death.  God connects us in important ways and this has to do with resurrection.  It follows suffering and death in a great variety of ways.

When people turn away from one another, it can come from fear or depression or anger. We cut ourselves off not because of good things but because things are damaged.  Some do so for their own protection.

Resurrection moves us toward connection with one another.  It heals.  It binds up wounds.  It makes us whole.  It brings us joy.

As we continue to move through Lent, we must examine our lives and take stock.  Some of us are in the midst of suffering.  Others are in the midst of joy.  Some may be in an odd mixture of both.  Wherever we are, may we see ourselves in the cycle where God has not abandoned us but goes along with us, giving us strength until we see the rising of the sun once more.

Prayer for the day:

O Lord, give us grace, we beseech You, to hear and obey Your voice which says to every one of us “This is the way, walk in it.”  Nevertheless, let us not hear it behind us saying, This is the way; but rather before us saying, Follow me.  When You put us forth, go before us; when the way is too great for us, carry us; in the darkness of death, comfort us; in the day of resurrection, satisfy us.  Amen.

            Christina G. Rossetti, English poet, 19th Century

Photo features Christina Mallory Chicoraske and was at Canyon Camp in 2007, taken by Kathryn Witzel who has impeccable timing! 

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