Silence: 30 seconds
Read Scripture Text: Ephesians 1:7-10
“Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.“
Silence: 30 seconds
Seeing God’s goodness in the face of suffering requires us to have a deeper awareness of the Cross of Christ…Yes He died to atone for (forgive) our sins, but He also died to be in solidarity with those who are suffering and marginalized (justice/love/power).
It is Jesus Christ on the cross that calls us to a practical engagement with those who are currently less than flourishing. And the more we forsake this suffering solidarity, the more we’ll implode. For to not care for the oppressed is to not care our collective liberation. We’re called to be people of an “excess love” in the midst of suffering and evil. This is what shapes our inner life, relationships, work, and dare I say, public-civic policy making.
As the East African theologian, Emmanuel Katongole says in Born From Lament,
“God’s agency in human history, especially God’s solidarity with humanity, is revealed in the incarnation and in Jesus’s suffering and death on the cross. It is this excess of love manifested on the cross that invites Christians into practical engagement in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters.”Katongole, Emmanuel. Born from Lament
How is the scripture and devotional text speaking to you? In what ways has God shown up in your life during times of suffering? Can you recall a time where you showed up with someone who was suffering? What was that like?
Prayerful Response (learn, pray, act)
God, we ask that you help us be people of excess love: for you, our inner self, and our fellow neighbor, coworker, family member, friend. Where there is suffering, you are present, offering your absolute love. Amen.