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Oct 02nd
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. April 6, 2009 - Monday Meditation (Furnace of Life's Trials)
April 6, 2009 - Monday Meditation (Furnace of Life's Trials) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 01 April 2009 03:45
When we are in the furnace of life's trials and allow God to be in there with us when the heat is on, then our true colors will shine.
Monday of Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
John 12:1-11  Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled  with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." 9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was  there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz'arus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Laz'arus also to death, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. 12 The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;  he will faithfully bring forth justice.

Meditation by Cathy Weiss Pedersen

"Hope springs eternal." writes poet, Alexander Pope.  Most of us living in the Midwest celebrate the coming of spring with smiles and anticipation of warmer days, and the return of greening vegetation and the budding trees and flowers after a cold, desolate landscape of ice and snow.  It is wonderful to have spring coincide with the coming of Easter. 
However, this IS Holy Week,a time in the Christian calendar when we prepare to remember and travel the days of Christ's untimely death, suffering and crucifixion.
But, when I read the texts of today's scriptures, there IS hope permeating the day's readings.  Initially, this can be puzzling, as we approach the Triduum.  Why these readings today?  
In the passage from Isaiah God announces that God's servant shall bring forth justice, yet not breaking a bruised reed or quenching a smoldering wick and that the people have a covenant with God to open the eyes of the blind, and to free captives from prison.  As Christians we believe that this servant is Jesus who, in today's gospel is anointed by Lazarus' sister, Mary and is sought by the crowds.
These are passages of hope, of anticipation of the wonders that God has brought to us in the person, Jesus. Jesus' friends and followers are in awe of Lazarus' raising from the dead.and wonder at what/who this Jesus is, and what is coming next.
What are these scriptures calling me to today,in Holy Week?  Yes, I know that in a few days, we, as church, remember the death and crucifixion of Jesus and so, I read these passages with a 'knowing' dread.  However, fear is not the tone of these readings.  There is a pervasive hope and expectation, an anticipation of what God has in store for/with us.
It is the same kind of hope/anticipation that we hold in the changes of the season, or of a healing relationship, or the coming of a new baby.  We trust that it will come, but we must patiently wait and we are not in charge of its arrival.
It is the promise of a God who loves us and wants fullness of life for/with us.  It is a stance of trust, openness and belief in this loving God's embrace.
And yet, also knowing that with free will, we can reject the promise, the trust, the love.with one another and/or with God - (as those who plotted against Jesus) - and spoil (short circuit?) the fulfillment of life-giving love.
What are we /what am I doing/being this Holy Week to approach God's loving embrace with a trusting anticipation..a willingness to respond and cooperate with my gifts, but also to allow God to work in my life without my needing to be in full control of the outcome?
Lent, and more so, Holy Week, is a time to step back and allow God to speak, to be with us.  As the psalmist prays today: "I believe that I shall see the goodness of God. Wait for God; be strong and let your heart take courage.  Yes, wait for God!"

Supplementary Reading
The Heat is On

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you." - Psalm 55:22

Potters usually glaze their work. Glazes provide the colors to pottery, but when they are applied to the clay, the colors are very muddy and hard to discern. This makes the entire process of glazing pottery difficult. It is not until the pottery is fired in a kiln of 1,000 degrees to 1,200 degrees C that the glaze begins to show its true colors. The intense heat melts the glaze, creating a type of colored-glass coating. This process is what makes the pottery not only beautiful but also durable, even though still breakable.

Similarly, when we are in the furnace of life's trials and allow God to be in there with us when the heat is on, then our true colors will shine. The hotter life gets, the more we can see, feel, and appreciate God's power.

* * *
What trials of life has God used to make your true colors shine through? Write a prayer of thanksgiving today, expressing to God the beauty and durability you've observed in your life because of those trials.
* * *
Note:  This excerpt was taken from the "Power for Life Daily Devotional
PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.

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Last Updated on Monday, 06 April 2009 07:39

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