Today’s scripture readings are an interesting mix. Malachi speaks of the coming messenger who will be like a refiner’s fire. The psalm response is, Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! In Hebrews, we are told of Jesus. That through his death, he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. And in Luke, we hear the story of Mary and Joseph bringing the infant Jesus to Jerusalem for consecration. They are greeted by Simeon and Anna, waiting for the Christ at the temple.
Hebrews is the scripture that jumps out at me today. Probably because it speaks of death and there seems to have been a lot of death in my life recently.
I teach junior high Sunday School. In a recent discussion a young lady asked the question, why did God allow our pastor to die? Our pastor had recently lost his battle with cancer. It was a striking question. And I would love to tell you I had a brilliant, theologically sound response. I did not. I was honored and humbled that this group of young people trusted me enough to ask the question. We talked about what we know. There is pain and suffering in the world. We are all going to die. And God loves us. It seems like such a disconnect. Yet we know these are all true. I would love a clear, clean, concise answer. Sometimes there simply is none. Sometimes there are questions in life that just cannot be answered. A mystery, if you will.
I recently lost my dad. The pain is still pretty raw. One morning when my wife and I got up, we knew this might be my dad’s last day on earth. My wife asked if we could sing the song they sang at our pastor’s funeral? We have never done anything like this before. The two of us sat in bed and sang. It was called, Give Me Jesus. The last refrain goes:
When I come to die,
Give me Jesus,
Pretty much sums it up. Jesus is the model for us on how to live. Jesus is the model to show us how much God loves us.
My prayer this day is for those of us grieving; that we will know and feel the love of Jesus.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook