The Apostle Paul so eloquently articulated what it means for us to die with Christ. In Galatians 2:20 he says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
In Lent we examine again what needs to die in us AND we recognize, as Easter approaches, that Christ lives in us. We have been raised with Him to live a life of love. Just as Christ gave Himself for us, we can give our life for others in love.
Jesus showed us how to give our lives for others. Not only in his death, but with His life, He modeled how to love others. Jesus was God incarnate. He did not stay far off but entered into the pain and suffering of the world, drawing us close and ultimately saving us. And He sends us out to do the same- to enter into the pain and suffering of others full of his love, with an assurance that He is with us and He is renewing the world.
As you enter into the last week of Lent, where are the places we feel drawn to enter into the pain of another person? Maybe it is a group of people you feel compassion for. Maybe it is one person you know needs a friend to walk with them in a tough season. As you pray for the three people you have been lifting up to Jesus in this season, what is one step you can take to share in their pain this week?
Prayer Practice: Lectio-Divina
Begin in silence, turning all your thoughts and desires over to God.
Read Matthew 25:31-46 slowly and carefully at least twice. Notice any word, phrase or image that seems to have energy for you. It could be a word that invites you, a phrase that puzzles you or an image that intrigues you.
Sit in silence with your word or phrase or image. Ruminate on the word gently, allowing it to sink into your heart deeply. Consider how it connects with your life today. Ponder how it calls you to confession, gratitude, or a new way of living. This may even include a struggling with the text as the word becomes incarnate within you.
Fall deeply into prayer. Be honest with God about your feelings. If you want, write your word in your journal. Draw your image. Express how God is present with you now.
Rest silently in the presence of God. Move beyond words, phrases or images. Enjoy the freedom that comes in His presence.