Just think! Every time we’ve experienced joy, sadness, loss, fear, winning, grief, laughter, betrayal, celebration, sickness, Jesus has been in the thick of it with us! But it is so easy to absorb all those wide-ranging emotions on our own, as if we are the sum total of our own existence, as if we live in solitary confinement on this big blue ball, with no one to share the big deals of our life. And yet! And yet, for every believer who’s been ‘transferred’ into the Beloved, the lie-smashing truth is that we are NEVER alone, never left to our own defenses, never abandoned in the middle of overwhelm (I’m preaching to PD, here, but if you can relate, you are invited to read on).Much of the New Testament is written to help the fledgling church find a way to live into that mysterious truth. The more this rag-tag bunch bought into the mystery, the greater their ability to resist in times of persecution, the more they were enabled to fully celebrate every win. If dark and stormy circumstances were the order of the day, just imagine the peace of knowing Jesus’ presence right there alongside! If horizon-widening deliverance from an attack was the menu ‘du jour,’ how much louder the shouting, having Someone to shout with! The human condition is fraught with every emotional state conceivable, every joy, every crushing kind of defeat, every life-flashing-before-your-eyes disaster. We are such weak and frail critters. Why, if my temperature goes up by one measly degree, I thrash about in the throes of pain and self-pity. In twenty-one centuries, we haven’t progressed past the need for assistance, past wanting TLC, past craving a word of comfort, of encouragement, past hearing: ‘It’ll be OK.’ And to imagine that God knows and provides for all that and more! Wow! Like Lucy, pushing past the musty-smelling fur coats in the wardrobe, deeper into the darkness, the closer to the other reality, the existence of what had been hidden, comes into view, into clearer focus. That’s a great metaphor for our readings of the New Testament. The more we take time to pause in our reading, the more we ‘receive’ by the precious gift of the Spirit of Jesus Who lives in us. The more the Holy Spirit shows us, the greater our insight into ‘Narnia,’ the Resurrection-powered eternal life now ours, the more we can ‘afford’ to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. God’s Word, by the Holy Spirit, transforms everything, now and forever. I think I’ll do a little jig while no one’s watching – except Jesus, of course, who’s clomping along, and laughing, with me! We’ll keep at this tomorrow, 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM.  PD

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