As I reflected on yesterday’s teaching and the discussion of the previous evening with Saturday night’s small group, it occurred to me that our God is the God of both celebration and lament. So often, we as a “Sunday people living in a Friday world,” linger in one of those days too long. My own confession is that I tend to embrace one and not the other. I believe the God we serve allows us to hold both at the same time – just as we did on Sunday with the joyous celebration of baptism and the message of Jesus coming along side us who consoles in the times of suffering that we all will face.
Matthew 5:1-12 Jesus shares that we are blessed when we are at the end of our rope. The end of our rope is the beginning of His work to transform us. We looked at the accounts of Mary (John 20), Emmaus Road Disciples (Luke 24), Doubting Thomas (John 20), Disciples in the Upper Room (John 20) and Peter (John 21). We find that all of these Jesus followers are at the end of their rope. They are all having rock bottom moments of: grief, doubt, brokenness, remorse and disillusionment. Where are you today? How can you relate to their accounts? Then, Jesus as good and faithful as ever, chases them down and uniquely and tenderly reveals Himself to each beloved follower. Is He chasing you down today?
Read and reflect on these accounts from the Gospels. Take some time to think and pray about Jesus doing the work of pursuing you. Do you have a story of being at the end of your rope? Do you hear His loving voice calling you? Can you share your experience with a friend or neighbor this week?
A prayer for you today:
From the Book of Common Prayer:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep, and give angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
– Jennifer Leach