Monday, March 6, 2017

The Pioneer

One of the texts for today is Hebrews 2: 10-18 which begins with this verse (the Message)

 It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these  people to glory.

We are on our way to Lent and spending these 40 days following Jesus to the cross in Jerusalem.  And I like the idea of "Pioneer" - he goes ahead and shows the pathway that leads to glory.  What is stated in this verse and in this journey is that he is walking into - and through - suffering.

It is our human nature to try to avoid suffering, of course.  Who doesn't?  But none of us get away without it.  Only if I diligently ignore the news can I pretend that racism, poverty, war,  illness and death are not real and part of this world that we all live in.  I live with a certain amount of privilege as an educated white woman in America but suffering is still unavoidable as I have experienced  the brokenness and illness  that is just part of life. And as  important is the realization that to take seriously the call to follow Jesus is to love others and serve them and that too leads to suffering.  We suffer as we love people who struggle with grief, with disease,  and myriad life challenges. 

He is the pioneer in that he shows us that suffering does not have the last word.  We know the rest of the story which is the resurrection of Jesus - the surprising and mysterious power of God that transcends all suffering.  That is good to know as we sometimes find ourselves just enduring the present sufferings.

All of which sounds much more negative and gloomy than I actually feel this morning.  But it is there in the text and I believe that there are just threads of suffering that are running through life that we often want to dismiss.

So   My Mantra for today is    

And looking to the pioneer that went before and goes before.  The one who is not afraid to pick up the cross of love and move forward wherever God is guiding him.

I will end with a prayer from A Procession of Prayers about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane 

Servant Christ,
help us to follow you into the garden to watch with you
ever vigilant for signs of the dawning of your day
to struggle unsparingly to understand and to be obedient
to your perfect will.

Servant Christ, help us to follow you.



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