Monday, March 29th, 2021
Dear friends and family —
We have entered into Holy Week, we have an advantage that the disciples and followers of Jesus did not have in the days we now call Holy Week. We have the biblical accounts of the events of Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem, much like “Paul Harvey” used to say, “and that’s the rest of the story.”
I mentioned yesterday in my blog post that I had started watching the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” I watched a few more minutes tonight, it’s a tough movie to watch, because it’s truthful. Tonight’s portion that I viewed is found in Mark 15:1-15
Jesus loved us and endured pain, ridicule and aloneness because it was the only way to reconcile the broken relationship between humans and God. Henri Nouwen, in his book, “Show Me The Way” says, “The way of Jesus can only be walked with Jesus. If l/we want to do it alone, it becomes a form of inverse heroism as fickle as heroism itself. Only Jesus, the Son of God, can walk to that place of total surrender and mercy. He warns us about striking off on our own: ‘cut off from me, you can do nothing.’ But he also promises, “Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.” (John 15:5).”(1).
Our scripture verse today tells us about the poor and that they will always be with us. “Every time we think we have touched a place of poverty, we will discover greater poverty beyond that place. Beyond physical poverty there is mental poverty, beyond mental poverty there is spiritual poverty and beyond that there is nothing, nothing but the naked trust that God is mercy.” (2)
When I was growing up I remember stories my parents would share that made me feel like we were living well. They told a story of a relative living in the hills of Tennessee and their home had dirt floors, mom said, those were the cleanest dirt floors she had ever seen! Another story my mom shared was that when she was growing up in the winter time before getting out of bed they would have to sometimes shake the snow off the blankets. My mom was 1 of 8 children so they shared a bed most of the time. My grandmothers first house after getting married was an old Army tent. These are not stories of poverty to me but stories of love and perseverance. My parents and grandparents did their very best to walk with Jesus. Poverty does exist, it exists in many forms and we cannot turn away from it or wish it away. We can PRAY. We can take ACTION. We can share the love of God with the world, one person at a time. As we move forward this week, Holy Week be ever so mindful that you do not walk alone. “Only with Jesus can we go to the place where there is nothing but mercy. It is the place from which Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It is also the place from which Jesus was raised up to new life.” (3).
“If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer. In prayer we meet Christ. and in him all human suffering. In service we meet people, and in meeting them the suffering Christ. Action with and for those who suffer is the concrete expression of the compassionate life and the final criterion of being a Christian. Such acts do not stand beside the moments of prayer and worship but are themselves such moments. Why? Because Jesus Christ, who did not cling to his divinity, but became as we are, can be found where they are hungry, thirsty, alienated, naked, sick, and imprisoned people. Precisely when we live in an ongoing conversation with Christ and allow his Spirit to guide our lives, we will recognize him in the poor, oppressed, and the downtrodden, and will hear his cry and respond to it wherever he reveals himself. So worship becomes ministry and ministry becomes worship and all we say and do, ask for or give, becomes a way to the life in which God’s compassion can manifest itself.” (4).
Thank you for stopping by my blog today, I used a lot of quotes from Nouwen today because his words touched my soul and I pray they touch yours as well. ~Peace to you my friends ~
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ Be Uncomfortable ~ Day 35
Growth happens in places where we are uncomfortable, and it’s easy to stay in places of comfort. Push yourself to find new opportunities to live your faith, especially if it means doing something new.
🔹 Prayer 🔹
Rise Yahweh! God, raise your hand,
do not forget the afflicted!
You have seen for yourself the trouble and vexation,
you watch do as to take it in hand.
Yahweh, you listen to the laments of the poor.
You give them courage, you grant them a hearing.
— Psalm 10:12, 14, 17
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing
(1) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 121-122paragraph 4, 1 respectively.
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 121, paragraph 2.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 121, paragraph 3.
(4) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 122, paragraph 3, 4, 5 respectively.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation