Near my house is a museum with a space exhibit. The exhibit features everything from early astronauts’ suits to a full-size prototype of the Apollo 15 Lunar Lander. Each time I visit, I get a clammy feeling looking at the moon landing equipment. The thought of being so far from home, totally dependent on a vehicle less than half the size of a cement truck, is both wondrous and frightening to me.
Those early space explorers knew the danger of their pioneering work. In fact, astronauts left a memorial on the moon to those killed in the pursuit of space exploration. Other pioneers, in work ranging from medicine to civil rights, have also been familiar with danger in their work.
Jesus became well acquainted with risk, danger, and even death in his pioneering work of salvation. Some may like to think of Jesus as a brave or intrepid leader, one who leapt into worlds beyond without suffering so much as a scratch. The truth is that he did feel afraid, and he did experience pain.
I am grateful to follow a pioneer of faith who suffered. For me, it would be difficult to follow a Savior who had never experienced pain or grief or fear. Following such a person would create unrealistic expectations on my part. I would be unable to keep up.
However, frail as I am, Jesus is not ashamed to be my Savior. He is not ashamed of anyone he has saved. He calls his followers brothers and sisters. I do not have to worry, because whatever fear or suffering I encounter, I find that Jesus has encountered it too. I do not have to compare my progress to anyone else’s because Jesus has already laid the path for us all.
Jesus, pioneer of my salvation, keep me faithful on this journey. Help me to trust in the work you have already done. Amen.
This week we read about Job, an upright man who faces severe trials but never loses his faith. Job’s story brings us face-to-face with the fact that living a godly life does not make us immune to suffering. Like Job, the psalmist wonders why he suffers, even though he lives according to God’s standards. Hebrews presents Jesus as the ultimate example of unwarranted suffering, yet because of his perseverance he is ultimately glorified. In Mark, some Pharisees test Jesus on the interpretation of the law concerning divorce. Jesus makes strong statements about marriage, but his larger concern is that their hearts have become hard. He contrasts them with little children, who model faith by receiving God with an open heart.
Read Job 1:1; 2:1-10. What helps you to live with integrity?
Read Psalm 26. Do you feel free in your prayer life to honestly share with God all that you are feeling?
Read Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12. In what ways does God speak to us in our day?
Read Mark 10:2-16. What qualities found in children do you try to cultivate in your spiritual life?
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