This space has its roots in the history of how this congregation came to be - a group of Jesus followers inviting others to come and see Christ and live faith out together. Once a month, we will bring forth a devotional from years gone by. Today we re-member (put together again in our minds) from thirty-seven years ago in the Lenten Devotional of 1980 - March 19th to be precise.
Read Matthew 20:17-34
"This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
These words have been put to a joyous tune which I have sung with children many times. The children clap and move with the rhythm. Their eyes sparkle and there are smiles on their faces. Oh, that I could recall that feeling of joy when...
- my son cut a hole in the tablecloth, destroyed my favorite plant, and spilled paint all over the floor.
- the people I had asked to serve on a committee all say, "I'm too busy."
- my mother called to say my cousin, age 22, had just committed suicide.
- I think nothing I have done seems to bring positive results.
- I don't seem to get the sympathy from anyone that I think I need.
But those days that seem so tragic and fruitless can be turned into times of joy and hope if we allow them to be. The key is God's redeeming love. Redemption implies that we can trade something in for another thing of greater value. God accepts our failures, tragedies, bits of gloom and pessimism and in return offers His love. If we open ourselves to His love, we will be able to see the hope, the optimism, and the joy amidst the gloom. We will be able to pick up and carry on. We will be able to sing, "This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Dear God, please forgive us when we shut the doors to your redeeming love and power. We too often think that we can do it all by ourselves and consequently view each tiny problem as an insurmountable mountain. Help us to see the joys and the hope which can come from struggling with life. We thank you for sending your Son to show us the way. Amen.