1 minute reading time (281 words)

Afflictions

Sometimes a verse or two from the Bible jumps out at you. The other day it was this, from Psalm 34:

"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted

and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the Lord rescues them from them all."

In response, I found myself thinking of the Gospel reading for Candlemas (this Sunday coming), which finds Mary and Joseph bringing the infant Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem - and how, after taking the baby in his arms, praising God and blessing the three of them, old Simeon warns Mary of the suffering that will come her way because of the hostility her son will provoke: "...and a sword will pierce your own soul too." 

Even in a moment of high exultation such as this, Mary needs to hear that she will not be exempt from suffering. And so we learn that there is no helpful connection to be made between what we deserve and what we get, no handy explanation for the suffering that will come our way - however righteous we may be.

What matters is not ferreting around for a reason why we suffer, but asking for grace to endure affliction without losing hope. 

And, while those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ have - in his resurrection from the dead - a very clear encouragement to keep the faith, what astounds me is how many people who say they have no faith nonetheless refuse to lose hope. Perhaps there is something in us all - given by God - which knows He will, in the end, rescue us and give us life. 

 

 

Joy 2020...
High fidelity
 

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Monday, 06 April 2020

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