Friday, November 22, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, November 22, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, November 22, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

(God raises up a mighty savior)
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
     for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed
69 He has raised up a mighty savior for us
     in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from
         of old,
71   that we would be saved from our enemies and from
         the hand of all who hate us.
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
     and has remembered his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
     to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands
         of our enemies,
   might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and
     before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of
         the Most High;
     for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
     by the forgiveness of their sins.
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
     the dawn from on high will break upon us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in
         the shadow of death,
     to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

(The covenant abandoned)
Exhortation to Repent
22:1 Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, 2 and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. 3 Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed obey this word, then through the gates of this house shall enter kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people. 5 But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:

   You are like Gilead to me,
     like the summit of Lebanon;
   but I swear that I will make you a desert,
     an uninhabited city.
7  I will prepare destroyers against you,
     all with their weapons;
   they shall cut down your choicest cedars
     and cast them into the fire.

8 And many nations will pass by this city, and all of them will say one to another, “Why has the Lord dealt in this way with that great city?” 9 And they will answer, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.”

10 Do not weep for him who is dead,
     nor bemoan him;
   weep rather for him who goes away,
     for he shall return no more
     to see his native land.

Message to the Sons of Josiah
11 For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum son of King Josiah of Judah, who succeeded his father Josiah, and who went away from this place: He shall return here no more, 12 but in the place where they have carried him captive he shall die, and he shall never see this land again.

13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,
     and his upper rooms by injustice;
   who makes his neighbors work for nothing,
     and does not give them their wages;
14 who says, “I will build myself a spacious house
     with large upper rooms,”
   and who cuts out windows for it,
     paneling it with cedar,
     and painting it with vermilion.
15 Are you a king
     because you compete in cedar?
   Did not your father eat and drink
     and do justice and righteousness?
     Then it was well with him.
16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy;
     then it was well.
   Is not this to know me?
     says the Lord.
17 But your eyes and heart
     are only on your dishonest gain,
   for shedding innocent blood,
     and for practicing oppression and violence.

(An imperishable inheritance)
A Living Hope
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2019, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2018 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, November 22, 2019
Luke 1:68-79; Jeremiah 22:1-17; 1 Peter 1:3-9

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, November 22, 2019

The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, November 22, 2019

Eberhard and Emmy Arnold (1883-1935; 1884-1980)

During the Reformation, there were those who believed that Luther and Calvin did not go far enough in recovering the radical spirit of Christianity, namely in regard to the Christian attitude toward violence and personal property. These Radical Reformers stressed community, simplicity, and an uncompromising commitment to gospel nonviolence. They suffered persecution from Protestants and Catholics alike, and their spirit took root in such communities as the Hutterites and Mennonites, which continue to this day. Eberhard and Emmy Arnold drew on this tradition centuries later in the midst of Nazi Germany. They started a community called the Bruderhof (“house of brothers”), whose ethic was the Sermon on the Mount. Their presence was a prophetic critique of the nationalism and militarism of Nazi Germany and of the Christianity that was silent amid such evil. In November 1933, their community was taken over by the Gestapo and they fled. Eberhard died in 1935 and Emmy lived on for forty-five more years, helping to start many other communities. Their lives and writings have inspired many communities, and their witness has touched people around the world.

Eberhard Arnold said, “Life in community is no less than a necessity for us—it is an inescapable ‘must’ that determines everything we do and think. Yet it is not our good intentions or efforts that have been decisive in our choosing this way of life. Rather, we have been overwhelmed by a certainty—a certainty that has its origin and power in the Source of everything that exists. We acknowledge God as this Source. We must live in community because all life created by God exists in a communal order and works toward community.”

Albert Luthuli, who struggled nonviolently against apartheid in South Africa, said, “It is inevitable that in working for freedom some individuals and some families must take the lead and suffer: the road to freedom is via the cross.”

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, our journey with you shapes our journey with one another. Let your tender mercies come to us that we may live again. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, November 22, 2019

Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Read all of Colossians 3

Listen to Colossians 3

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Daily Devotions with Chaplain Kenny - Where is she now?

Where is she now?

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Luke 20:27-40 (NIV)

There is a question that can haunt you after someone you love dies. It has been seven years now, today, since my late wife, Barbara, died. Where is she now? We may know where their bodies lie, but what about the rest of them—the mind, the heart, the spirit? Where are they? Do they still exist at all? Or have they vanished, like breath on the wind?

We are Christians. We know the correct answers. But human is human, and grief is grief, and it is not surprising when these kinds of doubts arise in our minds. Jesus does not blame us for it. Instead, He provides us with an answer—and from a really strange place.

Jesus is having a—well, let’s be polite and call it a “discussion” with the Sadducees. This was a Jewish religious group that didn’t believe in the resurrection or in any real kind of life after death, unlike other Jews of Jesus’ time. They try to trap Jesus with a ridiculous story based on a technical point of Moses’ Law. Jesus does answer them—but He does much better for us—He answers the real concern behind the silly story—do the dead still exist?

And He does it by appealing to a really mundane detail—one of God’s favorite names for Himself in the Old Testament. God says to Moses, “I AM the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6a).

Now that only makes sense if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still exist. Otherwise God would have said “I was the God of Abraham,” and so forth. God and Abraham are still in relationship—even 2,000 years after Abraham’s death.

You may be grieving for someone you love right now. I am. And it’s hard to anchor your mind and heart when you think of the person you love but cannot imagine what they are doing right now—where they are, what their surroundings look like. Jesus gives us an anchor. “I am the God of insert name here,” He says. That person still exists, and is in God’s hands. We can be sure, because as Jesus says, “Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to Him.”

Lord, help me entrust the people I love into Your hands while they live and when they die. Amen.

In Jesus,
Chaplain Kenny 

In Loving Memory
Barbara Jean Pesicka-Sallee
July 7, 1954—November 22, 2012

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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Viernes 22 de Noviembre de 2019

Digamos «NO» al divorcio (segunda parte)

Esposas, sométanse a sus esposos, como conviene en el Señor. Esposos, amen a sus esposas y no sean duros con ellas.

Las mujeres, al igual que los hombres, tenemos funciones específicas que Dios nos dejó en su Palabra para tener un matrimonio según sus mandamientos. Dios dijo:
  • «Esposas, sométanse a sus esposos» (1 Pedro 3:1). Esto no es otra cosa que honrar y respetar al esposo, darle la posición adecuada en la casa, ya que es la cabeza de la familia. Sé que muchas mujeres no viven este principio por necias, rebeldes o porque el hombre no tiene el carácter para llevar las riendas de la casa, así que la mujer asume esa posición.
  • «Que la esposa respete a su esposo» (Efesios 5:33). Dios diseñó al hombre para que los respetemos. Esa es la manera en que se siente amado.
  • «La mujer pendenciera es gotera constante» (Proverbios 19:13). Aquí Dios nos compara como esa gotera que cae sin cesar, y tiene razón. Muchas de nosotras, quizá por temperamento, somos peleonas, regañonas y complicadas. Todos los problemas del hogar los volvemos una tragedia y cansamos a nuestros esposos.
  • «La mujer sabia edifica su casa» (Proverbios 14:1). Dios nos llamó a que edificáramos la casa. Así que tenemos la gran responsabilidad de formar un hogar con bases sanas y respeto, siendo fieles y sabias.
Si eres una fiera, vives siempre con mal genio, por todo te irritas, ¿qué crees que consigues con esto? Estás espantando a tu esposo de la casa y lo que menos va a querer es llegar a su hogar con tal de no enfrascarse en una pelea.

Únete a esta campaña y digamos «NO» al divorcio.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Únete a esta campaña y digamos «NO» al divorcio.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, November 22, 2019

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

As members of the same family we have the responsibility to come to the aid of another member who is suffering. The body of Christ is strong when each part is closely knit together. When one part suffers, all the other members suffer (1 Corinthians 12:20–27).

Members of the persecuted church who have been helped by others around the world have made comments like those of young Salamat Masih in Pakistan. He was charged with writing blasphemies against the Prophet Mohammed—even though he was illiterate. He was on death row until finally exonerated. After receiving cards from all over the world assuring him of prayers, Salamat said: “I never realized that I had so many brothers and sisters around the world.”

A pastor who was attacked and hurt in Indonesia was so traumatized that he and the family left the area and the ministry. Before we judge him, perhaps we should ask if this pastor ever received enough encouragement and help from other churches and believers. Could it be that he felt so alone because there were not enough other people who cared for him?

Another believer from Hindu background in eastern Indonesia was led to the Lord by a doctor who prayed for him regarding his incurable disease and God healed him. He lost no time in joining a local church.

He said, “At that time, a lot of people accepted Jesus in my village, but they were afraid of the threats from their families. When they convert, village officials come to interrogate them. I, myself, have been interrogated many times after my conversion, and warned me not to convert others. But I was not afraid. I chose to keep my faith in Him no matter what happened.” He experienced severe opposition and persecution from everyone he knew but he held fast to his faith. Open Doors then connected him with a group of other believers from Hindu background.

In November 2010, he and his family met a different kind of opposition that tested their faith. Mount Bromo erupted, covering hundreds of hectares of farmlands and plantations with volcanic ash. “Our livestock died, and we could not work on the farm…People around me ask why I can still smile and be happy. I just tell them that although I am poor and I face a lot of difficulties, I have Jesus. He gives me joy in my heart…Being with other believers reminds me that I am not alone. I am encouraged all the more to share the gospel with my people.”

RESPONSE: Today I will remember that I am part of a large body…a family that deeply cares for me.

PRAYER: Pray for isolated believers that God will show them the reality of standing strong together.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Men of the Bible - Friday, November 22, 2019

The Prodigal Son and the Elder Brother 

Their work: These men worked for their father, a wealthy landowner.
Their character: Both of the brothers were sinners. One committed the sin of unrighteous living and the other the sin of self-righteousness.
Their sorrow: Both men were alienated from their father. Geography separated the prodigal from his father, while pride separated the elder brother.
Their triumph: The father's open arms and homecoming feast welcomed the prodigal. There was no happiness for the elder brother except the misplaced belief that he was better than his wayward sibling.
Key Scriptures: Luke 15

A Look at the Men

This biblical account is one of Jesus' parables, often called "The Story of the Prodigal Son." But it's really the story of not one but three men: the prodigal son, the elder brother, and the waiting father. Each plays a critical role in the narrative.

What the younger son asked of his father was unthinkable. Inheritance was paid to a man's sons upon his death, so in prematurely requesting the birthright from his father, the boy was saying that he wouldn't care if his father were dead. His rebellion was open and shameless, a public embarrassment for the entire family. And what he did broke his father's heart.

The older boy was every father's dream. As an employee, his efforts were productive, his work ethic was flawless. Even his conduct was exemplary—and he did not hesitate to review all of these qualities in his father's hearing. He had every confidence that his virtuous behavior earned not only his father's respect and riches but his love as well.

But the elder brother carried a deep grudge. The insolence of his younger brother's words and the slack in his life ground away at the elder brother's soul like a millstone. And the special attention the young son drew from the father turned the older son's grudge into hatred.

As far as the elder brother was concerned, the moment the inheritance payment was made to his sibling, the boy's days as a member of the family were finished. Now the older son was his father's only son, and the benefits of his father's wealth would be exclusively his.

Unfortunately for the elder brother, this was not his father's disposition. The younger son, even with his inheritance paid in full, was still a member of the family. Neither open defiance nor running away would have any effect on his father's love for him. This infuriated the elder brother, but his simmering anger was about to be turned into a bubbling cauldron.

The father threw a party. It was bad enough for his absent little brother to keep their father in distress while he was in a faraway land, but to have his father throw a celebration when he returned home was more than the elder brother could bear. In his attempt to punish the father for his grace, he refused to attend the merrymaking, preferring to sulk instead.

In this parable Jesus was declaring all of humankind "sinners," and he divided them into two groups: prodigals and elder brothers—the unrighteous and the self-righteous. And he underscored the fact that the heavenly Father—the living God—loved both and was willing to forgive both.

Contrition for his blatant sinfulness earned the younger brother full forgiveness and a party in his honor. But the older son's inability to see his self-righteousness as sin kept him from receiving the forgiveness his father would have freely extended. So he spent the night alone, overhearing the joyous celebration but experiencing none of it himself.

Reflect On: Luke 15:20–31
Praise God: For his mercy.
Offer Thanks: For the picture of the waiting father and how it tells us of the loving heavenly Father who is eager to forgive our sins of unrighteousness and self-righteousness.
Confess: Any tendency to believe that good deeds earn us a place in the kingdom.
Ask God: To change your attitude, to give you a compassion for the lost and to make your obedience to him a response to his love rather than treating it as a way to earn his love.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
This biblical account is one of Jesus' parables, often called "The Story of the Prodigal Son." But it's really the story of not one but three men: the prodigal son, the elder brother, and the waiting father. Each plays a critical role in the narrative.

LHM Daily Devotions - November 22, 2019 - In Our Place

"In Our Place"

Nov. 22, 2019

(Jesus said) "I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33 (ESV)

Although suffering is more a part of the lives of some of us than of others, it is an experience common to us all.

Sometimes our suffering is physical. We suffer pain caused by illness or injury. Some suffer seasonally, from summer's heat or winter's cold and ice. Some people suffer because of genetic issues or societal crises like poverty or malnutrition or living in high-crime areas. For others their pain is emotional or mental, causing strained relationships or families that fracture which leads to yet more problems.

And, of course, we all suffer from our sins and where they can lead. The chronic drinker's body suffers from overindulging in alcohol. The habitual liar leaves a trail of wreckage littered with broken promises and misplaced trust. And who among us doesn't experience some emotional trauma stemming from the guilt and shame of our secret sins.

At times we also suffer because of our love and commitment to our Lord. While certainly many Christians around the world suffer severe persecution because of their faith, our experience may be more the rejection or hurt feelings we suffer for standing up for what we believe is right.

All of our suffering, however, pales into insignificance when we view our suffering Savior. He suffered intense physical pain and excruciating mental and emotional anguish to pay the penalty for our sins. He suffered for us so that we would not have to endure the eternal suffering our sins deserved. And though we may suffer here on earth, as the apostle Paul says, "the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18b). That glory is ours—not because of our sufferings—because our Lord suffered for us.

Take a moment, if you will, and turn to Luke 22:39-23:31. There you will read about the last hours of Jesus' life on earth. As you read about His anguished prayer at Gethsemane where "His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground," think about the enormity of what lay before Him. With His betrayal and arrest, and the stabbing pain He felt from Peter's denial, Jesus is left alone: mocked, scorned, and beaten.

The road to the cross was a bloody one. And for all of our suffering, however great, no one experienced more than Jesus. As you read again the passage from Luke, think in earnest on all that the Savior suffered for you: the absurdity of Barabbas' being set free, the bloodthirsty mob, the taunts on the cross, and the brutality of execution.

After considering what the Savior suffered for you and me, please join me in a prayer of thanks to God that His Son took our suffering—so we wouldn't have to.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, though we suffer in this world for many reasons, we need not suffer eternally for our sins. Christ our Savior has taken that pain for us at the cross. Give our hearts faith to place our trust in Him. In His Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Do you feel you have a good grasp on what human suffering is all about? Why is this so?
  • Do Jesus' words bring you peace? How do you "take heart" in what He says when life is a struggle?
  • Does it take a special sensitivity to tune in on someone's suffering? Are we sometimes more adept at being callous to the plight of others than responsive? Why might this be so?

From The Lutheran Layman, February 1980 issue, "He Suffered for Us" by Ron Schlegel. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you feel you have a good grasp on what human suffering is all about? Why is this so?

CPTLN devocional del 22 de Noviembre de 2019 - En nuestro lugar


En nuestro lugar

22 de Noviembre de 2019

[Dijo Jesús] Estas cosas les he hablado para que en mí tengan paz. En el mundo tendrán aflicción; pero confíen, yo he vencido al mundo.
Juan 16:33 (RVC)

Si bien es cierto que algunas personas atraviesan por mayores sufrimientos que otras, no podemos negar que el sufrimiento es algo común para todos nosotros.

Algunos sufrimientos son en el área física, como el dolor causado por heridas o enfermedades. Algunos sufren por las condiciones del clima, ya sea por el calor o el frío. Algunas personas sufren de ciertos problemas genéticos, otros por situaciones de índole social como vivir en áreas donde la pobreza, la desnutrición o la violencia y el crimen están a la orden del día. Para otros, el problema suele ser mental o emocional, afectando negativamente sus relaciones o destruyendo sus familias, causando aún mayor sufrimiento.

Y, por supuesto, todos sufrimos por el pecado y sus consecuencias. La salud de una persona alcohólica se deteriora muchísimo por el exceso de alcohol en su cuerpo. El que acostumbra mentir va dejando un rastro amargo de promesas incumplidas y desconfianza. Y, ¿quién de nosotros no sufre emocionalmente por el peso de la culpa y la vergüenza que nos causan nuestros pecados ocultos?

En ocasiones nos toca sufrir por causa de nuestro compromiso y amor hacia Dios. Sabemos que muchos cristianos alrededor del mundo sufren terribles persecuciones y ataques por causa de su fe. Quizás a nosotros nos han herido los sentimientos o nos han rechazado por defender nuestras creencias.

Sin embargo, todos estos sufrimientos se quedan cortos comparados a los sufrimientos de nuestro Salvador. Para pagar la culpa de nuestro pecado, Él tuvo que pasar por un sufrimiento físico intenso y una terrible angustia mental y emocional. Él soportó todo esto para que nosotros no tuviéramos que sufrir el castigo eterno que merecíamos por nuestros pecados. Y aunque quizás suframos por un poco de tiempo en esta tierra, como bien lo dijo el Apóstol Pablo en su carta a los Romanos: "... las aflicciones del tiempo presente en nada se comparan con la gloria venidera que habrá de revelarse en nosotros" (Romanos 8:18). Esa gloria es nuestra no por lo que hemos sufrido, sino porque Cristo sufrió por nosotros.

Toma un momento si puedes y lee Lucas 22:39-23:31. Allí podrás leer sobre las últimas horas de vida de Jesús en esta tierra. Mientras lees sobre su angustia cuando oraba en el monte Getsemaní, donde "su sudor era como grandes gotas de sangre que caían hasta la tierra," piensa en todo lo que tuvo que soportar: la traición de sus seguidores, su arresto, el dolor profundo que sintió cuando Pedro lo negó, los golpes, maltratos y desprecio.

El camino hacia la cruz fue sangriento. Ninguno de nosotros ha experimentado lo que sufrió Jesús, aun nuestros mayores sufrimientos no se pueden comparar. Mientras vuelves a leer el pasaje en Lucas, piensa seriamente en todo lo que el Señor sufrió por ti: el acto absurdo de soltar a Barrabás, la multitud clamando por su muerte, todas las burlas y desprecios en la cruz y la crueldad con que fue ejecutado.

Después de considerar todo lo que el Salvador sufrió por ti y por mí, te invito a que hagamos una oración dándole gracias a Dios por su Hijo Jesucristo, quién llevó todo nuestro sufrimiento para que nosotros no tuviéramos que hacerlo.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, aunque a veces suframos en este mundo por diferentes razones, ya no tenemos que sufrir eternamente por nuestros pecados. Nuestro salvador Jesucristo llevó ese sufrimiento por nosotros a la cruz. Llena nuestros corazones de fe para poder poner toda nuestra confianza en Él. En su santo nombre. Amén.

Ron Schlegel

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Cuáles son las causas del sufrimiento humano?
  • ¿Te producen paz las Palabras de Jesús? ¿Cómo te anima lo que Él dice en cuanto a que en este mundo tendremos aflicciones?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cuáles son las causas del sufrimiento humano?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Người Anh Cả

Người Anh Cả

Đọc: Lu-ca 15:11–13; 17–24 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Ê-xê-chi-ên 18–19; Gia-cơ 4

[Họ] phàn nàn rằng: “Người nầy tiếp những kẻ tội lỗi và ăn uống với chúng!” Lu-ca 15:2

Tác giả Henri Nouwen nhớ lại chuyến thăm bảo tàng ở St. Petersburg, nước Nga, nơi ông đã dành hàng giờ để ngẫm nghĩ về bức chân dung người con trai hoang đàng của Rembrandt. Ngày trôi qua, sự thay đổi ánh sáng tự nhiên từ khung cửa sổ gần đó khiến Nouwen có ấn tượng rằng ông đang nhìn thấy nhiều bức tranh khác nhau khi ánh sáng thay đổi. Mỗi bức tranh dường như cho thấy hình ảnh khác về tình yêu của người cha dành cho đứa con lầm lỗi.

Nouwen mô tả rằng ông không biết làm thế nào mà vào khoảng bốn giờ chiều, ba nhân vật trong bức tranh lại có vẻ như đang “tiến về phía trước”. Một người là con trai cả nổi giận với cha vì “trải thảm đỏ” đón đứa em hoang đàng trở về. Chẳng phải nó đã phung phí quá nhiều tiền của, khiến cả nhà đau khổ và bối rối suốt một thời gian sao? (Lu. 15:28-30).

Hai nhân vật khác nhắc Nouwen nhớ về các nhà lãnh đạo tôn giáo, những người có mặt khi Chúa Jêsus kể ẩn dụ. Họ là những người phàn nàn về những kẻ tội lỗi đang đến với Chúa Jêsus (c.1-2).

Nouwen thấy chính mình trong tất cả những người đó – trong cuộc sống lãng phí của con trai út, trong sự lên án của người anh cả và các nhà lãnh đạo tôn giáo, và trong tấm lòng đầy bao dung của Cha Thiên Thượng dành cho tất cả mọi người.

Còn chúng ta thì sao? Chúng ta thấy mình ở đâu trong bức tranh của Rembrandt? Dù thế nào đi nữa thì mọi câu chuyện Chúa Jêsus kể đều nói về chúng ta.
Hãy dành thời gian suy ngẫm lại câu chuyện Chúa Jêsus kể. Bạn thấy mình ở đâu trong câu chuyện đó?
Lạy Cha Thiên Thượng, xin giúp con nhìn thấy chính mình không chỉ trong tình trạng của con, mà nhận biết rằng Ngài yêu thương tất cả chúng con rất nhiều.

bởi Mart DeHaa

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Mỗi bức tranh dường như cho thấy hình ảnh khác về tình yêu của người cha dành cho đứa con lầm lỗi.