Well, we survived the first week of Lent….ha ha. This is where we take a step back and think about the “Passion of Christ”
The word Passion comes from the Latin word for suffering.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first Religious Education Conference because I didn’t have to worry about how to get to Anaheim, California ! THIS year it was presented as a weekend long Zoom experience. I have never been able to attend the conference in person in the past as my schedule or funds did not meet the requirements.
I don’t know about you but this second wave feels like forever to me. I miss my family. I miss hanging out with friends. I miss my wee “Bubble”. And the closer the Spring comes the more I am fighting the urge to feel downhearted about missing out on yet another travel opportunity. (We usually head out to be with our children and grandchildren for a month. I feel emotional just typing this.) This is a suffering for me.
That’s why I particularly liked the talk that Becky Eldredge (See photo above) gave on the weekend. I love the above quote she included in her presentation , “I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
Right now I feel like I’m ‘hungry’ for companionship. I’m ‘in need’ of the company of those I love. But I also know what it is like to ‘have plenty’ of friends and family around me. To be well fed by the joy they bring to me. It is truly a form of suffering to be apart and it is a grieving time too.
How do we get through these tough times? Do you feel alone too?
Becky reminds me that Jesus had already experienced all of these things. Our Lord suffered much and we can unite our suffering to his and be assured that he truly truly understands what we are going through and has words of peace for us….
Where can you find proof of this?
Becky Eldredge chose passages from the bible that many of us can relate to right now….
“Begging for something to pass?” (Look up….. Luke 22-39-46)
” Do you find yourself struggling to forgive? ” ( (Luke 23: 33-43)
” Do you feel abandoned the way Jesus was by his friends and followers?” ( Mark 14:43-52)
” Are you enduring physical pain?” (John 19: 1-18)
” Are you watching another loved one suffer, as Mary watched her son?” ( John 19: 25-30)
We are not alone.
We. Are. Not. Alone.
We can trust that there will always be someone to listen to us and answer our prayers. He’s been there. He loves us.
I learned a lot during my conference last weekend. ( And that was only ONE talk out of many offered! ) When I remember that I am not ‘actually’ alone I feel peace. Jesus has compassion for us. And as Kevin O’Brien says above, ” …… there is a grace that comes from the companionship in the suffering.” I want to remember that he walks beside me. (Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour are yours forever and ever.)
May peace be with you too.