Today’s Bible reading:
The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him. — Mark 1:12-13
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
More thoughts for meditation:
A fast from some regular comfort during Lent can simulate a “separation” that causes us to seek more connection with God. Jesus did this by fasting from food in the desert, and he was not abandoned in his distress. The Father responded to his need for care with connection that was much greater than his lack of food.
On the cross he may have feared abandonment and disconnection under the weight of sin. But his quote of Psalm 22 (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) actually reveals a trust that leads to great rescue. There was never any abandonment or disconnection; how could God be separated from God’s self? But sin can threaten our experience of connection. The Psalm ends in ultimate victory: that all the earth will turn to the Lord, for he has done it! “He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” Jesus was proclaiming eternal connection for all on the cross.
Being alive in Christ means dying to the fear that we will NEVER be abandoned by God. Separation is impossible; he is the ground of our being, as the mystics say. We can draw from his life by seeking and noticing and enjoying his presence.
Suggestions for action:
Read Psalm 22. See if you can relate to the feelings. See if you can see Jesus, and yourself in him. Take heart that there is always victory and rescue by trusting in God.
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