What I read today;

2 Corinthians 2; Mark 5; Ezekiel 10-11; Psalm 123; Esther 6-8; Numbers 12

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen some horrible things happen.  The world has witnessed in horror the mass shooting in Christ Church, New Zealand, the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka and the shooting of the synagogue in Poway, CA.

We were shocked when it was discovered that the body of a 5-year-old boy who had been tortured and beaten to death by his own parents was discovered 15 minutes from the town I grew up in.

With all of the violence and horror, we wonder where the hope in all of this is?  With all the hurt and pain we see in our sin-filled world we honestly wonder where we can find hope in all of this.

In Mark chapter 5 we see Jesus performing amazing miracles.

He first meets a man suffering from demon possession so severe that the people of the region wouldn’t go near him.  He was living alone in the cemetery and no one could restrain him. He was alone in among those tombs and was without hope.

Then we see a woman who had been ceremonially unclean due to bleeding.  No doctor was ever able to help her.  She was at her wit’s end.  She couldn’t attend worship, she wasn’t supposed to be in contact with other people.  She was alone, outcast and without hope.

Finally, we see a man with a sick daughter.  The doctors had pronounced her terminal.  She didn’t have long to live.  As they were heading to her with Jesus, his friends told him that she had died.  All hope was now gone.

But Jesus said, “Do not fear, only believe.”

As Christians we always have hope.  Jesus didn’t say we wouldn’t have times of pain or suffering.  He didn’t tell us that we would not suffer death or physical pain on this earth.  But he offered us the hope that God himself was watching and walking with us.  He gives us hope that one day all that pain will be gone.

But Jesus didn’t just sit back and say “one day all of this will be gone and you’ll be in heaven with me” did he?

No, he acted. Jesus provided us an example of how we should respond in these situations.  He walked right into the midst of the demon-possessed man.  Jesus went straight to the dying young girl.  He called out the sick woman and told her that her faith was not misplaced and that she was indeed healed.

Jesus provided us a way to combat the horror and pain around us.  He called each one of us to show love and mercy in all things.  He called each of us to extend the love of God’s kingdom to the unloveable.  Even to those, we disagree with.  He calls all of us to step out and to proclaim a time of healing and a time of peace.

We will never bring back the dead.  As much as we wish we could, we can only honor those who have suffered, by living a life of love and forgiveness.

Who can you be Jesus for today?  What can you do today to extend the love of God in the face of the violence and anger we see all around us?

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