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Monday, April 14, 2014

Connecting at the Cross

Our crosses connect us.

The things that break us bring us together.

In our humanness, we do all we can to avoid pain and suffering.  We forget that suffering is what connects us to the body of Christ.  As Richard Rohr says, "The suffering that we carry is our solidarity with the one, universal longing of all humanity, and thus it can teach us great compassion for and patience with both ourselves and others (see Colossians 1:24)."

In suffering and pain we come face to face with our powerlessness.  Even though we are powerless over certain circumstances, we still have a choice.

We have the choice to fight and rail against the pain, thus intensifying it, or to accept the suffering knowing that ultimately it will lead to resurrection and new life.

Being forced to confront our control and self-will is one of the most difficult challenges we ever have to face.

 Trusting that God is faithful and causes all things to work together  for good (Romans 8:28) seems impossible in the midst of tragedy and death.  Just as Jesus cried out on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46), we feel alone and forsaken in our suffering and pain.  But because of Jesus' sacrifice for us, we will never be forsaken no matter how we feel.  The power of the Holy Spirit which raised Jesus from the grave is also at work in us to bring new life to our shattered dreams and lives.

In God's kingdom, the way down is the way up.

All who exalt themselves will be humbled.  Matthew 23:12

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.  Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.  John 12:24-26

So the way to follow the Suffering Servant is by being willing to suffer ourselves.

It will not be easy.

We will be tempted to lose heart.

We must cling to Paul's words:
Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2 Corinthians 4:1

Ultimately our body mind, heart and soul will receive complete healing from our true healer - Jesus Christ.


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