Corona Virus Weekly Devotion Week 30

Look for a Sign of Hope Today…
What Will Bring you Joy Today?…
Pray for our Teachers and School Administrators…
Covid-19 Numbers are Actually People…
Pray for the Staff and Residents of 7 Lakes ALH…
All Our Brothers and Sisters in the Path of Isaias,
Lord Have Mercy…
Blessings on All Returning Students…
Especially all the College Students…
Pray for Those in Danger from Wild Fires…
Pray for Those in Danger from Hurricanes…
Consider your Offering of Time, Talent, and Treasure…
Who Will You Invite to Zoom Homecoming, Sept. 27th…
It’s National Double Cheeseburger Day!!!…
Pray for those Recovering from Sally…
How Will you be a Beacon of Hope Today?…
God’s Glory is on Display Today…

A message to pastors like me
who are so proud
of how their church has responded
during the Covid-19 crisis:

At some point
you can stop being surprised
that you and the communities you serve
have done so well during the pandemic.
Why did you doubt?
Trust and expect
that what you have been
and are now doing
is paving the way
for the revealing of
God’s hopes and intentions
for you and the church.
Bruce Reyes Chow,
Presbyterian Pastor, Palo Alto, CA

Scripture
Matthew 26:14 – 27:66

…(Jesus) said, “I’m telling you the truth:
one of you will betray me.”
…at this Judas,
who was planning to betray him, said,
“It isn’t me, is it Teacher?”
…The one who was intending to betray him
gave them a sign:
“The one I kiss – that’s him!”…
So they crucified him.

The earliest followers of Jesus told this story and it became their story. They believed that they had actually died with Jesus…they had suffered with him, been crucified with him, and been buried with him. They believed this to be the ultimate mystery of the Christian faith and they believed it to be so because of the utter difference this story made in their lives.

“Lord, is it me?” Is it me, facing misunderstanding and betrayal? Is it me praying in agony, being arrested, tried, and unjustly condemned? Is it me being mocked, abandoned by my friends, stripped and hung up to die in shame?

As we read this story of faith we should hear our life-transforming story because the answer is, “Yes, it is you.” This is who you are now. You are not the person you once were. You are the person to whom all this happened. This is how your life is to be shaped and directed. You are in Jesus and Jesus is in you.

All of this is straight out of the Apostle Paul when he speaks of being “in Christ”. By this he means that Jesus, the Messiah, died on the cross; you are “in him,” part of his family, therefore you died with him, you were nailed to the cross with him, and you were buried with him. This is who you are now.

It is through Jesus’ crucifixion, Matthew insists, that he becomes who he was born to be; the Savior, by extending his arms on the cross, enfolding us in his embrace, and bringing us with him through death into a whole new life.

Meditation

In this time of silence please make the effort to read the entire passage. Find yourself in the story wherever you are. Continually ask yourself, “Lord, is it me? Then think about the difference your faith in God and your belief in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has made in your life. Perhaps for just a moment you might want to imagine what your life would be like without the hope and peace that this story…our story… brings. Then, why not spend a few moments in thanksgiving for a God who longs to love us, redeem us, and grants us abundant life on this earth and eternal life in the age to come.

Closing Prayer

Thank you, loving Lord. Thank you. Amen.

As you complete your time of meditation and prayer Tamara invites you to reflect on the words of this song…

May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ,
be with you now and forevermore…
Pastor Paul