Prayer: Great and Wonderful God, Your Word is truth and gives me strength and restores my soul. Thank you, in Christ. Amen.
Present in pain
…by his wounds you have been healed. (v. 24)
When people hurt, we want to fix it…to make the pain go away. Witnessing someone in intense pain is painful in our imagination. Our devotion writer suggests that we might try sitting with someone in pain and not trying to make it go away…to simply be present. She suggests it may be uncomfortable…Really? She writes; “Yet being in community calls us to those places where deep pain and loss reside. Being in the community of Christ binds us to Jesus’ suffering and death, so it is ours to know as well. Because we are one body with Christ, when one part suffers, we all suffer.”
How do we help? We know the end of the story. We can help others because we know there is a better future. We know that there is a different outcome than just pain and death. There is something beyond and that God wins the battles. In the end there is an empty tomb, because after He suffered and died, Jesus rose again and defeated death. One day, sooner or later, there will be no more pain and no more suffering. Jesus has taken all our sins to the cross so we can have new life.
Our devotion writer declares; “We sit with our neighbor’s pain and know that Christ joins us, for we are bound ultimately to his cross of hope and new life.”
Prayer: “God of the empty tomb, keep bringing us from death to new life, through Christ. Amen.”
1 Peter 2:19-25
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
19 For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.