Saturday, April 3rd, 2021
Friends, here we are nearing the end of our Lenten journey, it sure feels like time has flown by.
When we think of the life of Jesus, it is widely accepted that he began his ministry around the age of 30 and was crucified at approximately age 33. Most would agree that is still very young. Jesus knew that he would endure death as God’s plan for the our reconciliation with him. Jesus knew that death was not the end, he came to reveal life to us, so certainly there must be hope beyond death. Henri Nouwen writes this, and so beautifully, “If the God who revealed life to us, and whose only desire is to bring us to life, loved us so much that he wanted to experience with us the total absurdity of death, then — yes, then there must be hope; then there must be something more than death; then there must be a promise that is not fulfilled in our short existence in this world; then leaving behind the ones you love, the flowers and the trees, the mountains and the oceans, the beauty of art and music, and all the exuberant gifts of life cannot be just the destruction and cruel ending of all things; then indeed we have to wait for the third day.”(1).
🤔THE MEANING OF LIFE 🧐
Honestly, I can’t give you an answer to this age old question, it is something we all must answer for ourselves. But, I will indeed share some of Nouwen’s insight; coincidentally; I was able to find answers I have been seeking for a very long time about the meaning of life, from Nouwen’s writings. He talks about “mortification” and its literal meaning: “making death” — this is what life is all about. The meaning of life, is death? I was somewhat puzzled too, here’s what Nouwen writes, “But mortification — literally, “making death” — is what life is all about, a slow discovery of the mortality of all that is created so that we can appreciate its beauty without clinging to it as if it were a lasting possession. Our lives can indeed be seen as a process of becoming familiar with death, as a school in the art of dying. I do not mean in a morbid way. On the contrary, when we see life constantly relativized by death, we can enjoy it for what it is: a free gift. The pictures, letters, and books of the past reveal life to us in a constant saying of farewell to beautiful places, good people, and wonderful experiences.” (2).
In my life, I love looking at photos and remember “the good ole days.” I recall how active I once was, energetic and flexible; I am reminded now that I need to be careful climbing ladders and stretching beyond my reach. I remember the embrace of my mother’s arms around me, I remember all the great food my grandmother cooked, I remember the love shared with friends and family especially at holidays… Life is indeed short, no matter the age or time we are called home.
These times have passed by like friendly visitors, leaving behind dear memories but also the reality of the shortness of life. “In every arrival there is a leave-taking; in every reunion there is a separation; in each one’s growing up is a growing old; in every smile there is a tear; and in every success there is a loss. All living is dying and all celebrations is mortification too.”(3).
— Psalm 90:10 —
“The span of our life is seventy years — eighty for those who are strong — but their whole extent is anxiety and trouble, they are over in a moment and we are gone.”
— James 4:14 —
“You never know what will happen tomorrow: you are no more than a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears.”
Lenten M•I•C•R•O Practice for today:
~ Prayer Walk ~ Day 40 👣👣👣👣👣👣👣
Walk around your neighborhood and pray for what you see, hear, touch, and smell.
🙏🏻 Prayer 🙏🏻
I call to you, Yahweh, all day.
I stretch out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead,
can shadows rise up to praise you?
Do they speak in the grave of your faithful love,
of your constancy in the place of perdition?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
your saving justice in the land of oblivion?
But, for my part, I cry to you, Yahweh,
every morning my prayer comes before you.
— Psalm 88:9-13
~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 Publishi
(2) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 136, paragraph 2.
(3) Show Me The Way — Henri J.M.Nouwen • 1992 The Crossroad Publishing • Page 137, paragraph 1.
(NIV) New International Version Bible/Translation
(NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Apocrypha
(NJBV) New Jerusalem Bible Version/Translation