Looking through the Cross – Suffering
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
"Jesus seemed to believe it was his vocation to embody a moment where God would come in person and take the weight and horror of the world’s evil and shame and sin and death itself, upon himself and exhaust it. And the sign he had done that was that three days later he was alive again, in a transformed new body. It was the same body but somehow different, because it had gone through death and out the other side."
NT Wright. https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/day-1-jesus-tom-wright-talks-about-who-jesus-really
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 'Abba, Father,' he said, 'everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'
Read Psalm 13.
How long O Lord?
This is a feeling familiar to many.
Raw, open, honest, questioning, emotional, pleading, sensitive, intense, visceral
These are all words that can describe what we find in the Psalms.
They are not always words that describe our prayer, especially in churches.
Psalm 13 shows us that we do not have to be someone other than ourselves before God.
We do not need to make our language elegant,
water down what we truly want to say,
Or worry that our distress will upset God.
What is on your heart, is on your heart,
Whether that is pain or rejoicing,
Sorrow or joy
Anger or celebration
Grievance or vindication.
What is on your heart is on your heart and the proper place for it is before God.
There are no rules of protocol.
Yet prayer does require honest engagement and a fair hearing,
Psalm 13 paints a picture of something so big it becomes all consuming to the psalmist’s focus and attention.
Yet he reminds himself that he knows God.
And the God he knows has proved himself good, faithful and of unfailing love.
Is also a question the psalmist has to ask himself.
How long will he keep faith in God in the seeming silence?
How long will he worship God in such a difficult circumstance?
How long will he look for deliverance?
Holding on to what he knows and has experienced of God, yet faced with the troubles before him
Where is his confidence?
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
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Thank you to all who contributed to this page.
Please contact Jonny (JClipston@churchofscotland.org.uk) if you would like to be involved in future weeks.