Encountering the Extraordinary
"...the love of Jesus Christ Himself, love that goes to the cross in suffering obedience.
"The peculiar feature of Christian life is precisely this cross, a cross enabling Christians to be beyond the world... thereby granting them victory over the world. Suffering encountered in the love of the one who is crucified--that is the "extraordinary" in Christian existence.
"The extraordinary is... that visible element over which the Father in heaven is praised. ..."
(Go to Eternity, then click on "Love your neighbor")
Precious Lord, show me the daily opportunities to enter into your suffering. But I also I need your enabling wisdom, strength, endurance and perseverance. Without your life, I would surely fall to the temptation to turn back, follow my flesh, and seek human gratification rather than Christ-like surrender.
Back to the Cross
"Before Jesus leads His disciples into suffering, humiliation, disgrace, and disdain, He summons them and shows Himself to them as the Lord in God's glory. Before the disciples must descend with Jesus into the abyss of human guilt, malice, and hatred, Jesus leads them to a high mountain from which they are to receive help.
"Before Jesus' face is beaten and spat upon, before his cloak is torn and splattered with blood, the disciples are to see Him in his divine glory. His face shines like the face of God..."
(Go to Eternity, click on "New Bodies," then on "Our Lord's glorious body")
Thank You, precious King, for showing us your love, your promises, your power and your glory... everything we need to remain firm in faith through every trial you send or allow. Thank you for reminding us to "behold" you. Make our gaze more steadfast, more full of your continual faith, hope and joy. We want to see your face always before us, dear Lord and King.
"The disciples are permitted to see [the transfigured Jesus].... But now... they want to stay in the world of the transfiguration, and no longer... return to the real world of death. They want to remain in the world of Jesus' visible glory and power, in the world of the visible fulfillment of the promise. They want to remain where they can see, [not] where they cannot see what they believe....
"We [too] want his visible power and glory, and we no longer want to return to the cross, to believing against all appearances, to suffering in faith... "it is good here... let us make dwellings."
"But the disciples are not allowed to do this.... Whoever recognizes the transfigured Jesus, whoever recognizes Jesus as God, must also immediately recognize Him as the crucified human being. [They] should hear Him, obey Him."
(See Eternity, click on "We suffer now")
Dear Lamb of God, if I didn't live in this world of pain, sin and suffering, I would have neither compassion for your people nor appreciation for the cross that sets us free and lifts us high into your arms of love. Keep reminding us that we must -- in love for You -- follow your footsteps "in the world" even as we are "not of the world." Please fill our hearts with thanks to you for your wise and rocky path for us. With you, anything is possible and everything "works for good."
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