ALL the living.

“The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”  “You have said so,” Jesus replied.  “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy!  Why do we need any more witnesses?  Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?”  “He is worthy of death,” they answered.  Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists.  Others slapped him.”   Matthew 26:64-67 

Spend a few moments in time looking at this girl attending the Lutheran school in Ouanaminthe.  The first thing that you should know is that the children at this school wear uniforms, and she has none.  In a country where families have little earthly belongings her family is just managing to exist.  The bowl of food resting in her lap is her daily manna.  I can only imagine that this child is coming from a vodou household and she daily hears contradicting words about what she is learning in school.  Here she has the news of a Savior and is fed.  At home there are no promises.  The Son of God came to earth for this child.  Jesus went to the cross on Calvary for this single child and for each of us.  How great a sacrifice He gave for each of us and when considering what He accomplished on Easter what a privilege to share in helping to prepare this child to be His missionary. 

The hymn ‘Christ, the life of all the living’ was written by Ernst Homburg in 1659 and verses 1, 5-7 seem like excellent words to close this devotion. 

“Christ, the Life of all the living, Christ, the Death of death, our foe, Who, Thyself for me once giving to the darkest depths of woe.  Through thy sufferings, death, and merit I eternal life inherit: thousand, thousand thanks shall be, dearest Jesus, unto Thee.  Thou hast suffered men to bruise Thee that from pain I might be free; falsely did Thy foes accuse Thee.  Thence I gain security; comfortless Thy soul did languish me to comfort in my anguish.  Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, dearest Jesus, unto Thee.  Thou hast suffered great affliction and hast borne it patiently, even death by crucifixion, fully to atone for me; Thou didst choose to be tormented that my doom should be prevented.  Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, dearest Jesus, unto Thee.  Then, for all that wrought my pardon, for Thy sorrows deep and sore, for Thine anguish in the Garden, I will thank Thee evermore.  Thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing, for Thy bleeding and Thy dying, for that last triumphant cry, and shall praise Thee, Lord, on high.” 

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay