Corona Virus Weekly Devotions Week 32

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…
Jesus is present…if you have eyes to see…
Who Has the Ultimate Authority In Your Life?

If we walk away from fear and isolation
and choose to walk together as neighbors,
we discover
that our various religions and philosophies
make how we treat one another
the litmus test of a meaningful life.
Love of God and love of neighbor are of a piece.
Diana Butler Bass,
Church historian and theologian

Scripture
Matthew 27:33-56

When they came to the place called Golgotha…
they crucified him.

You could tell the crucifixion story a thousand different ways from hundreds of diverse perspectives. Jesus’ followers quickly came to tell it in such a way as to bring out what Jesus himself had been trying to say all along. It was the same message that Matthew has been trying to tell us throughout his gospel; This is the event through which Jesus became king…King of the Jews…King of the world.

For just a moment imagine yourself in the crowd as a faithful Jew who had prayed and sung the Psalms all your life. As you stand shoulder to shoulder with the masses you hear Jesus scream the words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It is a moment of utter terror and helplessness.

As you realize that the end is near a powerful mixture of recognition and horror bring to mind the hopes you had for your life, for your family, for your nation, but mostly, for this one that was thought to finally be the long-awaited Messiah. In actuality, your hopes and dreams were being fulfilled here on this Roman cross but just not in the way you imagined.

Yet, as you stand at the foot of the cross, let the shouting and pushing of the crowd fade away for a moment and look at the down turned face of Jesus. The hopes and fears of all the years are met in him…here on the cross. God chose Israel to be God’s way of rescuing the world. God sent Jesus to be God’s way of reaching Israel. Jesus went to the cross to fulfill this double mission.

His cross, planted firmly in the middle of the jostling, uncomprehending, mocking, and violent world of his day and ours, stands as a symbol of a victory unlike any other…A love unlike any other…a God unlike any other.

Meditation

In this time of silence imagine yourself at the foot of the cross as Jesus took his last agonizing breath. Think of the hopes you had when you were young. They are fulfilled here on the cross. Bring to mind the fears and sorrows you’ve had throughout your life. They are fulfilled here, too. Jesus has taken your hopes and fears upon himself. As you stand there realize that you are in an earthquake moment…a darkness at noon moment…the very moment that the curtain in the Temple was rent in two…the moment that even the hardened Roman soldier can’t help but blurt out, “Surely, this man is the Son of God!”

Closing Prayer

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for all that you bore that day. Thank you for your victory…the victory of love, justice, and non-violence. Thank you that you are indeed the Son of God. 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