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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 23, 2009

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 23, 2009 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22, 2009
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 23, 2009


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
      devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
      Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. we hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      The ultimate reality of the Gospel

      "And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took
      the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said
      to them, 'Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem;
      and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief
      priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to
      death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked
      and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised
      on the third day.'"
      Matthew 20:17-19

      From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus was
      a man with a mission from God. He knew why he was
      born and what was required of him. The looming
      cross was to be a critical and essential part of
      the gospel message. Without the cross, we could
      not have Easter and resurrection hope. But the
      disciples did not understand this at all. To them,
      Jesus was a wonderful prophet, teacher, healer,
      miracle worker, and friend sent from God. He was
      wonderful to be with and they loved him. They had
      left everything to serve him. The disciples did
      not want Jesus to suffer and die.

      Matthew's Gospel describes Jesus preparing the
      disciples again for the inevitable harsh reality
      awaiting them. He was going to be betrayed and
      denied justice. Jesus was going to be tortured
      before dying a shameful and agonizing death.
      Then he was going to conquer both death and
      sin through resurrection power, that is, by
      being raised to life!

      Our sins and the sins of the world led him to the
      cross. On the cross, Jesus paid the full price
      and penalty for all our sins of omission and
      commission. None of us are perfect. Only Jesus
      Christ is the sinless one. He is the great
      friend of sinners. "All of us have sinned and
      fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23
      NIV). There is no greater love than when Christ
      willingly went to the cross for us. This is the
      ultimate reality of the Gospel message.

      Jesus was innocent. He did not commit crimes; he
      had no sin in his life. Madeleine L'Engle calls
      Jesus "a great universe-disturber, so upsetting
      to the establishment of his day that they put
      him on a cross, hoping to finish him off. Those
      of us who try to follow his Way have a choice,
      either to go with him as universe-disturbers,
      or to play it safe. Playing it safe ultimately
      leads to personal diminishment and death" (L'Engle,
      Madeleine, "Glimpses of Grace," p. 108).

      L'Engle tells us more about what it means to be a
      disturber, "If we disturb the universe, no matter
      how lovingly, we're likely to get hurt. Nobody
      ever promised that universe-disturbers would have
      an easy time of it. Universe-disturbers make
      waves, rock boats, upset establishments. Gandhi
      upset the great British Empire. Despite his non-
      violence, he was unable to stop the shedding of
      blood. . . . Anwar Sadat tried to work for
      peace . . . knowing that he might die for what
      he was doing, and he did." Jesus calls us to
      join him in being universe-disturbers.

      Evil constantly attempts to conquer Love. The
      good news and ultimate reality of the Gospel is
      that God conquers evil with the divine Light and
      Love of Jesus Christ revealed on the cross.

      God, bless us as we reverently contemplate the
      ultimate reality of the Gospel message. Help
      us understand what it means to be a universe-
      disturber as we strive to follow Jesus. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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