As the days move steadily onward in this season leading to Jesus’ sacrifice, the cruel, inevitable events get ominously closer for him. At the very same time, we find ourselves making our way through a Prayer Journey where the Father’s rescuing, unstoppable love for us gets heartwarmingly clearer. The five themes of our journey to date are: 

God is with me

God knows me and is present to me

God shows his love for me

God has compassion on me

God is with me in times of trouble. 

We will conclude our six-week discovery with the theme:

God wants good for me/I can trust him

I’m struck by the stark contrast of this season we call Lent. Jesus’ entire love mission was accented by simultaneous: jubilation/hatred, encouragement/suspicion, healings/cries of demon-possession, prophetic words/accusations of blasphemy, and finally the most heinous, ignoble, undeserved, very public, very naked, very humiliating, execution! For us, Jesus’ entire love mission continues to highlight hope of rescue from sin, hope of forgiveness, hope of adoption, hope of fellowship with him for all eternity and the realization of abundantly-provided-for living here and now. How could one and the same period of time hold such disparate values, such a melding of extremes, such sorrowful rejoicing, such incredibly, shockingly, beautiful outcomes as a result of such darkness, such hideous scheming/dishonesty and soulless loathing? What quality of love could possibly compel a father to send his only son on a mission involving his death so that undeserving, wayward, sinful people (like us) could escape eternal separation (because of our condition) and instead be welcomed into loving and intimate fellowship with that Father? Well, that is the single goal of our prayer journey – to expose our hearts afresh to the non-plumbable reaches of God’s never-failing love. (if you’ve not hopped onto the prayer journey, no worries, the all-encompassing-ness of the Gospel message covers you, anyway, and the invitation is still yours. Be absolved. Refuse all shame messages, because they’re not from Him. Plus, you can ignore the Big Ask that follows.) “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it – we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are… And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up?” From 1 John 3, MSG.  PD

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