Journey to Awareness Lent Day 27

NIV John 12:46  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

The days are getting longer.  Whereas it used to be dark by 6 PM, as I write this post it is 7:30 PM and the Sun is just now approaching the setting horizon.  The close we move to Easter (and thus to Summer) the longer the light shines and the short the darkness remains.  As it is with the seasons so it is with our lives.

The Dorotheus circle (named after Dorotheus of Gaza a sixth Century follower of our Lord) is a teaching tool with a  circle which represents the world and has God at the center. The radii are human lives. The progress that each makes toward God brings him closer to the other brothers.  The closer to God the closer to each other.  Outside of the circle is the darkness at the center of the circle and (1 John 1:5) God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  So as we move toward God, toward Jesus, we move toward the light.

It is during Lent, we move toward a time of darkness.  It is in the darkness that Jesus is taken captive in the garden.  It is in this time that Jesus states: (Luke 22:53) Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour– when darkness reigns.”

Darkness still seeks to reign in our lives.  It seeks us, seduces us, deceives us and makes us instruments of our own destruction.  It is the darkness that speaks to the evil in each of us.  In the lies of darkness too many make the wrong choices.

The Apostle John write:  (NIV John 3:19-21)  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

We must pass through the darkness but we can be assured the Light will come.  We can also be assured that even the smallest of lights cannot be overcome by the mightiest of darkness-es.  May we pray each day that we may walk in the light of our Lord.

 

Journey to Awareness Lent Day 26

NIV Luke 8:50  Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.

Our own physical pain and suffering can be difficult burdens to bear.  When someone we love is going through pain and suffering the mental and emotional burden can push us to the breaking point.  I know because I have been there.

Some of the most agonizing times of my life have come not because of what has happened to me but what has happened to someone I love.  It is a distress that cannot be cured with medicine nor forgotten with the dulling influence of any prescribe drug or self medication.

The verse above is from an account in Scripture that I have sermonized more than any other passage.  It is a story of dealing with despair and suffering.  It is a story of how the Lord brings encouragement and hope.

I cannot imagine how Jarius felt when Jesus said “don’t be afraid.”  How could he not be afraid.  I believe Jesus knew that this would be nearly impossible for Jarius but that it would give him a glimmer of hope.  All it takes is a glimmer, a small possibility of hope, to break through the darkness of despair.

It is through our belief that our faith begins to grow.  As our faith begins to grow we can gain a new perspective on life.  Yes we will (not could or maybe be face situations of despair, suffering, and pain but will) face times of anguish.  We will hurt.  Yet because of Jesus and our willingness to walk with him we can know healing is coming.  This healing may not come outside of passing through the veil of death, but it will come.  There will come a day when those who do believe and who do experience grace through faith will here the words:

(NIV Luke 8:54)  “My child, get up!” 

and up from the grave, up form the earth we will rise!

Lent is a time of reflecting on the life of Jesus up to the experience of the cross and the grave.  It is to think of how Jesus face all the kinds of pain, suffering, and trials we will face.  Lent does not end in despair.  Lent is given hope in the power of the resurrection.  Lent is a time of listen for God to say to us:  Don’t be afraid; just believe!