Lord, I pray today for the families who have children who are handicapped in any way. Help the parents to be especially strong and deeply caring as they try to live with all the trying consequences of their unwanted situation. Give them courage and perseverance, endurance and faith in yourself. I ask it in Christ’s name. – AMEN.
Lord, I pray today for those people who will receive the news from their doctor that they have an incurable disease that is life-threatening. Help them to turn to you immediately and to find strength to face the totally different prospect that life now holds for them. Help them to identify their priorities and to trust you. In Christ. – AMEN.
Lord, I uphold those families who will lose a child today, through whatever cause. Stand beside them in their sorrow, comfort them in their grief, and help them to love one another all the more in their bereavement. Let them hold each other more tightly because of the crisis and look forward in hope and in Christ. In Jesus’ name. – AMEN.
“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again”
Mark 8:31 NIV
A major part of Jesus’ work was to prepare the disciples for their mission after he had gone. To do this he had to make sure that they understood who he was, what he was about, and what lay ahead of him. They had probably seen him as the leader of a popular movement, and hoped that the movement would gather momentum – and that they would become key people in it!
It was a real shock to them when he let them into the nature of his mission. It was not about popularity or a mass movement. It was not about a military uprising or about nationalism at all. He did not plan a military coup. It was the opposite of a military conquest. It was about suffering, rejection, opposition and unpopularity. And – he was actually going to die! The point of his mission was love. The focus of all he was here to do was going to be his death. And, just to confound everyone, he would rise again after three days. A military coup would have come and gone. It would have been a paragraph in a history book. His mission was going to move people for all time. Millions would become engaged in their own private missions of love. There would be a community of love consisting of the living and the dead.
Christian believers must reflect on this meaning of Christ’s mission again and again. We have to ask what it means for us today?
Lord, help your church today to live out your cross-filled life.
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