Thursday, October 29, 2015

God is For Us

By Beth DeCristofaro

Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? … For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31, 38-39)

‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. (Luke 13:32)

“I praise you and I bless you, Lord, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world”…and I…and all those I love.  I praise you, I bless you and I thank you.

Many funerals use Paul’s letter to the Romans and, although it is a powerful and beautiful reading, I must admit that on occasion I’ve wondered if Paul is expressing some wishful thinking that crosses all our minds from time to time.  Attending the funeral of a baby or someone who has died of random violence might make us question what God had in mind for her/him and family.  Yet even when distracted by sadness or pain it is not hard to remember that not death, powers, current events, nature, betrayers or distracters could turn away Jesus from his purpose.  And on the third day he accomplished that purpose.

Jesus, God and Man, chose annihilation, passing through a life of human limitations to savage murder to resurrection.  And He did this in order to save you and me and establish a Kingdom of God to which we are all heirs.  So Paul’s words make me want to gasp and grin with the wonder of it.  It makes me want to listen and hear the silence of God’s presence today before I also go through the annihilation of death in order to find myself surrounded by His glory. 

I am invited, you are invited.  It’s a tough road to get there but we will be with Jesus each step of the way, even if that step is, for example, confined by a hospital bed or interrupted through trauma.  How are we preparing to arrive?  Pray for those who died in recent natural disasters yet were not quite ready that they are now immersed in God’s peace and glory.

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