domingo, 22 de junio de 2014

In times of trouble God is with us

I found it difficult to find a direct link between our reading in Romanos and Psalm 69, Jeremiah and El Evangelo.  I believe the main reason is that for the next 13 weeks our Epistle readings are San Pablo’s letters to the Romanos.

San Pablo wrote about the difference between Adam’s sin which caused the death of many people and God’s free gift of grace by another man, namely Jesus Christ. Judgement followed Adam’s sin, the result being punishment but those who accept God’s gift become righteous because of one man Jesus Christ.  Many people become sinners because Adam did not obey God but many people become friends with God because Christ obeyed God. In a summary Jesus Christ is our key to eternal life.

Our reading from Jeremias is a lament. Everyone had turned away from Jeremias and he felt isolated. He had not wanted to be a prophet in the first place and accused God of seducing him into it. The Gospel reading and the Psalm indicate that God’s people are not exempt from tough situations. Suddenly Jeremias’ mood changed and he hung on to God’s promise by saying ‘But the Lord is with me’.

Our Gospel reading tells us how Jesus was preparing his disciples for persecution. To avoid all things which would give their enemies an advantage, He foretold troubles that would happen so they were fully prepared for tribulations and would not be surprised.

The message to us today is that the Christian life is not easy and can be fraught with suffering, even from family and friends. Jesus told his disciples the worst things that would happen. Fear against all manner of problems is like a snare by which we can be drawn into sin because we do not want to do the correct thing and we must therefore pray about this to God. Jesus denotes God’s care and concern for us and He is totally aware of the suffering life can cause us but if we pray we will be lead through suffering and troubles to glory with him.

There is the old Christian greeting ‘The Lord be with you’. The last words of Jesus to his disciples were “And I am with you always to the end of the age”. In times of trouble we are not alone. God is with us. Amen.

Author: Gwen Hamilton-Warner