Pause

“O Lord,
calm me into a quietness
that heals
and listens,
and molds my longings
and my passions,
my wounds,
and wonderings
into a more holy
and human
shape.”

 Todd Loder, Guerrillas of Grace, 1984

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Listen

Every high priest is taken from the people and put in charge of things that relate to God for their sake, in order to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. The high priest is able to deal gently with the ignorant and those who are misled since he himself is prone to weakness.Because of his weakness, he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the people. No one takes this honor for themselves but takes it only when they are called by God, just like Aaron.

In the same way Christ also didn’t promote himself to become high priest. Instead, it was the one who said to him,

You are my Son. Today I have become your Father,

as he also says in another place,

You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 5:1-6

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Think

In his 1972 book The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen writes, “The great illusion of leadership is to think that one can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.” The suffering part of Jesus’s life is something we tend to ignore until Holy Week. We want to have a beautiful image of the resurrected Jesus all year long, and we forget that Jesus did endure suffering in his life. Jesus was called by God, and though the way was not always easy, Jesus remained steadfast to God’s promises.

Jesus shows us how to be faithful to God in suffering because he has been there! In Jesus, we have the perfect example to follow when our lives are rocky. We have been chosen by God to be imitators of the life of Jesus, and that is often a difficult road to walk. We know the way is difficult, but the promise of life with God is what compels us to truly take up our crosses to follow Jesus.

Sarah Briggs

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Pray

God, help me to remember that you too are familiar to suffering. Help me to run to your promises of love when I lose my way. Amen.

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Go

“It’s gonna be alright
Turn around and let back in the light
And joy will come
Like a bird in the morning sun
And all will be made well
Once again”

Josh Garrels, “Morning Light,” 2015

Sarah Briggs

Sarah Briggs is a graduate of the Gardner-Webb School of Divinity. She serves as the Youth and Family Ministries Coordinator of St. James Episcopal Church in Black Mountain, NC. She enjoys live music, spending time with the folks she loves, and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains she is lucky enough to call home.

Guide Me While I Learn

Ken Medema

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