Sunday, May 15, 2011
Easter 4: A Devotional Commentary
1 Peter 2:11–20 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having good behavior among the nations, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation. Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether to the king, as supreme; or to governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and for praise to those who do well. For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked. For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience toward God. For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if, when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable with God.
John 16:16–22 A little while, and you will not see me. Again a little while, and you will see me.” Some of his disciples therefore said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you won’t see me, and again a little while, and you will see me;’ and, ‘Because I go to the Father?’” They said therefore, “What is this that he says, ‘A little while?’ We don’t know what he is saying.” Therefore Jesus perceived that they wanted to ask him, and he said to them, “Do you inquire among yourselves concerning this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you won’t see me, and again a little while, and you will see me?’ Most certainly I tell you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn’t remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! There is great joy when we think of the resurrection but this is also a time of great sorrow. We suffer. In the Christian life we are not happy all the day. Christ does not call upon us to ignore this suffering. Christ tells us that this suffering is real just as the suffering of a woman in labor is real. But when Christ returns our suffering will give way to joy that is beyond anything we could ever think or imagine. We will be made partakers in His resurrection. He will not rehabilitate us. He will resurrect us. Our joy will be so great that we will forget our great suffering.
Posted by Chuck Wiese at 12:01 AM