Devotional Thought of the Day:
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
883 You were consoled by the idea that life is to be spent, burned in the service of God. And spending ourselves entirely for him is how we shall be freed from death, which brings us the possession of Life. (1)
I am sitting in my office – contemplating the 6 sermons I will preach in the next 7 days.
I got nothing… the words on the paper, the studies I have done in preparation, all seem limited in view of the world that seems so…broken, so darkened. So broken that even we who have been entrusted with the one thing that will bring change and hope, are too distracted, to eager to go on the offensive, whether it be about saying Merry Christmas and decorating our yards, or claiming our “rights”, or taking our stand against those who favor things we find abhorent, from child euthenasia being allowed now, to abortion, to bigamy to… name the sin, there are people defending their right to it, and those who trust in God saying tolerating that sin is the end of the world. That’s not mentioning real traumas, like bringing comfort and God’s peace to those who are missing loved ones, or seeing their relationships crumble, or dealing with financial crises.
6 sermons in 7 days? Maybe 80-100 differemt people hearing them? How will that stem the tide?
As I look at the blank word document, I got nothing… I don’t have the words…I don’t even have the idea of where to begin.
O Come, O Come Immanuel… the words echo in my mind.
Yesterday I wrote that I want to get past wanting Him to come and save us, I want to want Him to come, so that we can rejoice in His presence, that we will finally be “united” with Him, face to face, in all of His glory. I don’t just want Him to come to deliver us from the challenges of this world, of this time.
Yet maybe that is what Lent is about – looking both to what He delivers us from and what He delivers us to, from darkness to light, from sin to justice, from brokenness to glory. From loneliness to community. Maybe we have to know the evil, to recognize the incredible nature of what God is giving us, as He claims us as His children. Maybe we need to know the barrenness of a Bethlehem Stable, to know the glory of the love revealed there, and on a rugged cross, to face our need for it, so that we realize the glorious, merciful, life changing love of God who dwells with us.
In the midst of the struggles of this life…in the midst of visions of how it is supposed to be, there is a need to trust the One who is with us, sterngthening us in our weakness, as we realize His love for us… These days help that we have nuthin.. are great for strengthening that trust, that faith….
May we take the time to realize our brokenness.. so that we can recognize our healing. It is as the Psalmist wrote:
10 “Stop fighting,” he says, “and know that I am God, supreme among the nations, supreme over the world.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.Psalm 46:10-11 (TEV)
You see, somethings when we realize we got nuthin, we realize we have His presence, His love, His mercy… we have HIm!
And nothing can change that…
Lord Have Mercy on us! I pray we grow in the trust that He has…
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3611-3612). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
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