Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 28, 2020
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:22-23
If you’ve been watching or reading the news lately, words like “unprecedented,” “historic,” “uncharted territory,” and “never before seen” have been used in great abundance. Yet we must remember, there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing fundamentally different about the world this week than the world of a month ago, or a year ago, or 1,000 years ago. As C.S. Lewis said in his 1939 piece entitled Learning in War-Time, “I think it is important to try to see the present calamity in a true perspective. The war creates no absolutely new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.”
On the one hand, I hesitate to use a reference to World War II in the fear of overstating or escalating the moment we find ourselves in now, when what is needed is an unwavering posture of peace. However, on the other hand I find his words to be a powerful reminder of a foundational truth that applies today. As St. Paul says, “All creation has been groaning in the pains of childbirth” (Romans 8:22). Each and every one of us, regardless of our circumstances or personal situation, are weak and in need of the mercy of God. Though we may live through seasons of life in which it is easier than others to ignore this , each one of us will eventually have to confront our frailty and the pain of life.
A greater awareness of human need deepens in us an awareness of the mercy of God. This awareness is the beginning of our transformation, from fearful to courageous, from weak to strong, from selfish to self-giving. And in times of great need, the world desperately needs the church to embody this kind of transformation!
You and I need this courage, endurance, and character in order to move beyond our fear and step out as the hands and feet of Jesus. A sign of immaturity in our faith is our inability to care for anything or anyone other than ourselves. A sign that our suffering and trials are producing in us transformation is when we begin to truly think of the good of our neighbor and the needs of the most vulnerable in our midst, not just making sure our own backs are covered.
If you are a follower of Jesus, this is what you signed up for! In times of financial uncertainty, when you’re tempted to shut down your finances and keep everything safe and secure, what if you instead pushed against that temptation and made an intentional gift of generosity this week? When facing a public health crisis, what would it look like to intentionally seek the health and wellbeing of your most vulnerable neighbors and family members?
The life of wisdom that you daily cultivate is not just for your sake but is meant to be deployed in seasons like this, so be bold for the sake of others as we all rely daily on the goodness and mercy of God!
Father, as we rest in your mercy and care for us, make us courageous agents of your love, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Cook a meal for a neighbor or make a generous donation towards someone in great need this week as a way to intentionally be the hands and feet of Jesus.
A sign of maturity in our faith is our ability to care for anything or anyone other than ourselves. #WisdomHunters #courage #truth #Jesus
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