Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lent Day 34: Thankful for sorrows

Jacopo Tintoretto - The Ascent to Calvary

I'm reading the familiar passage of Jesus wounded for us. The last week of Lent is coming and I'll be reading the gospels at least once more before Easter. I am astonished again by the love of Christ, his perseverance, and his focus on his Father's pleasure. No matter how intense the pressure to get distracted, no matter how oblivious his followers to his warnings of the cross ahead ... Jesus kept moving toward the cross.

If we had no sorrows or pains to bear, would we be as grateful that He paid the debt and lifted the burden of sin and hurt from us?

A speaker at NU reported on the view of China's government officials, that the United States was blessed because it followed Christian principles. They see the decline of America as a consequence of abandoning those values.

Yet we seem blind. We are full. So sated with our perception of "the good life" that we forget the Man of Sorrows. We are surprised and angry at any grief or hardship.

Outsiders often see what a culture misses. May we return to the cross and its wealth of pain and suffering this week––with grateful hearts that love God and love others as ourselves, no matter what the circumstances.Read more:
*He is despised and rejected by men,  
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV

*Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Psalm 105:3

*Why do you look for the living among the dead? Luke 24:5

Moravian Prayer: Blessed Savior, hear our prayer of rejoicing for your gift of the promise of new life. Let us learn to trust in your path and lighten our hearts with joy. In Christ's name we pray. Amen. 

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