April 9th Lenten Devotion

God of Flesh

Sonny Graves

Matthew 8:28-34

God in the flesh tells us that he will die. The disciples are greatly distressed it says, they are filled with grief. After this moment their ministry together gets more urgent – emboldened -there are bigger risks they take for the good of the most outcast and vulnerable.

Death and facing it together can be a clarifying moment. When you think of your own mortality, how do you honor your grief? Does it convict you to remember what really matters in our earthly life? Does it empower you to value each moment deeper, to savor your relationships? Are you more open to the ways God calls us to be disciples of care and justice? Does it feel as Jesus says, “nothing will be impossible for you”?

When I was in my early twenties my best friend died suddenly. Everything about that death felt unfair and unjust. Yet that loss taught me something truly valuable. That our time and our love is both fleeting and precious. Death will come for us all. So how will we choose to live and follow Jesus? What heaven on earth becomes possible to create from that clarifying perspective?

Years later I remember sitting in a dark room rocking my nephew to sleep in my arms. As I looked at the sweetness of his face snoozing I suddenly felt and smelled the presence of my friend’s spirit fill the room. My heart was no longer distressed, but grateful for her presence in a resurrected form. My heart was no longer grieved, but given this taste of new life with the child in my arms. Jesus tell us he will die andarise to live in a different way. Then they get to work in the precious time that is left in this world.

God of the flesh, of the tomb, and the resurrection. Clarify us with the truth of our mortality. Give us the faith to move mountains for your love and justice on this earth. Then let us live your holy possibilities till we join you in the eternal. Amen.

 

Rev. Sonny Graves (preferred pronouns he/him) pastors with the priesthood of all believers at New Spirit UCC in Indigenous Dakota Lands/Savage, Minnesota.

 

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

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