Thursday, June 14, 2012


Thursday, June 14
Scripture Reading—Hebrews 2:5-9

 Several months ago, I had a conversation with a gentleman who came to eat lunch here at Centenary at our Friday Walk-In Ministry.   He was well-dressed and very articulate.  He said  rather matter-of-factly that  he’d been living in his car and had just come to Richmond from Houston.  He’d been a high-level computer programmer, lost his job, and just gone through a difficult (and expensive) divorce.  He’d come to our city because of a job opportunity that hadn’t panned out.  Unfortunately, I’ve learned to question much of what I hear, especially when I sense a request for money is about to come.  But this man asked for nothing, said he knew God would take care of him, and was grateful that our church offered a good, hot meal.  He did not fit the typical profile of a “homeless” person, if there is such a thing.  I think he just wanted someone to listen to him—and to understand his predicament.  At the heart of the Christian gospel is the repeated assertion that God came to us in Jesus Christ so that we would know the one we worship understands our human condition, even our suffering and death.  For the writer of this letter, this truth was hard to explain.  How could an unchanging, all-powerful God be changed into human likeness?  The writer, after much theological reflection, concludes,  “ . . . but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”  You’ve heard it a million times, I know—but that is because it is true—whenever we are overcome with loneliness, stress, failure, or disappointment, the one comfort that will sustain us is that we love and serve a God who was so determined to understand us, that for a little while, this God stooped so low as to become one of us!

 Thought for the day:  The God made known to us in Jesus Christ is a God who understands our suffering.

Prayer:  O God, when I feel no one else understands, please help me to know that you understand my suffering

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