You Need Hope! (whether you think you do or not….)
Devotional Thought of the day:
15 When Jesus heard about the plot against him, he went away from that place; and large crowds followed him. He healed all those who were ill 16and gave them orders not to tell others about him. 17He did this so as to make what God had said through the prophet Isaiah come true:
18 “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, the one I love, and with whom I am pleased. I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will announce my judgment to the nations. 19 He will not argue or shout, or make loud speeches in the streets. 20 He will not break off a bent reed, or put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph,
21 and in him all peoples will put their hope.” Mark 12:15-24
491 Nonne hic est fabri filius? Nonne hic est faber, filius Mariae?—“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” This, said of Jesus, may very well be said of you, with a bit of amazement and a bit of mockery, when you really decide to carry out the will of God, to be an instrument: “But isn’t this the one…?” Say nothing, and let your works confirm your mission.(1)
I stood there, having voted for everything but a candidate for President. My mind was not made up even then even after praying a lot. Serious concerns over both candidates, and indeed about the political spectrum in which we exist delayed that vote. I have dear friends, many of them who follow Christ, who made passionate pleas for me to vote for their candidate, and those friends were advocating four different choices.
My thoughts were about them, and as the night closed, and this morning dawned, I saw some urging us to work together, others railing in triumph, and others drowned in despair. What words could I write this morning that would minister to these beloved friends? There is comfort needed, encouragement needed, and in some cases, a gentle rebuke, on that would re-focus them on Jesus, and restore a true hope.
Daily I do what I call devotional reading. Reading not to prove my devotion, but to see God’s devoted care for us revealed. It is there I found these readings this morning, and the promise of God’s precise care for us.
Even as we are at our weakest, our most broken, shattered point, Jesus does not crush us. Even though we are burnt out, God knows where that little spark can be found, enough that with care the fire will roar again. Even when we are at our weaknest – not because of despair, but because our success leads us to be vulnerable, and we don’t see a need for the hope we have in Jesus.
Yet justice, His justice, not ours, will prevail.
No loud speeches needed, no arguments, no cheering or wailing. Instead caring, comfort, a correction of course for those, re-orienting all to the presence of Christ.
It is so hard in these days when we let anxiety rain, or celebrate beyond what is beneficial. When we go on the defensive, trying to justify our position, to show those who mock us they are wrong. When overwhelmed by sorrow or joy we don’t pay attention to those around us and end up breaking yet another relationship.
It’s time to stop – get back to what we do, to be silent and not take things personally, and to simply point people to the comfort and grace that is found in Christ, because He died, He rose, and He leads us into and keep us in His peace.
Rest there, no matter who you backed, and greet those who like you, find a respite from the days past. Let Jesus minister to you – bringing you life and hope! AMEN!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1199-1203). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.