Tuesday, April 15, 2014

God's Arrows

By Beth DeCristofaro

The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.  He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.  He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. (Isaiah 49: 1-2)

Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.  If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. … “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” (John 13: 31-32, 36)

You are my hope, Lord; my trust, GOD, from my youth.
On you I have depended since birth; from my mother’s womb you are my strength; my hope in you never wavers.
I have become a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge!
My mouth shall be filled with your praise, shall sing your glory every day.
        (Psalm 71:5-8)

In this chapter from John, Jesus also tells his disciples I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another (John 13:34).  In the recent stories about people who risked their lives in Rwanda to save their neighbors during the genocide, love looks like Isaiah’s polished arrow.  People acted decisively with a fierce love that saved many.  We know that the disciples became as sharp-edged swords of love and truth that changed not only their spiritual landscape but the political landscape of the world as they carried forward Jesus’ Word. 

God’s majesty can come through tragedy.  Daughters gather around their dead mother, tenderly preparing her for the funeral home while telling stories in laughter and tears about how she raised them.  A man forgives the murderer of his brother in a courtroom.  This Holy Week, when halleluiahs are followed by betrayal and shouts of disdain, we can deliberately join the Passion of Jesus, accepting His overwhelming act of love for us individually and humanity as a whole with a humility which allows God’s glory to shine.   

We are not all called to acts of such extreme courage.  But where He is we can follow.  In what ways have I been a polished arrow, a sharp-edged sword or a quiet in-the-wings follower of Jesus?  Look for ways this Holy Week to do so again.

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