March 10, 2021 FPCLA Lenten Word Meditation

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Today’s Lenten Word Meditation comes from Romans 5:1-11 NRSV:

1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Today’s word, suffering (thlipsis in Greek) is defined as trouble, tribulation, oppression.   Paul was writing to Christians in Rome.  Rome, the center of the Roman Empire, had about 1 million people in an area of less than 10 square miles in the first century CE.  There were around 40,000-50,000 Jewish people at that time.

I sit, hold, and pray with the word, suffering.  What comes to mind is my mother and how much she suffered.  She was born in North Corea.   During the Corean War, the Corean Communists came in the middle of the night and arrested her parents and took everything they had.  (She later found out her parents died in work camps of starvation.)  She and her siblings fled to South Corea with nothing.  She and her siblings worked hard and survived.  I look at the resiliency and faith of my mother and I also look at the same in Jesus as he headed toward the Cross.  Even in the midst of suffering, their faith in God was a part of their existential foundation to continue.  I marvel at their life journeys to suffer and sacrifice.  I hope and pray that I have the same faith in the midst of suffering and my life journey. 

Pastor Sam


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