Text: John 15:1-11
For growth in trust and hope
For growth in spiritual discipline
For the strength to abide
The great danger to our faith is the presumption that life with Jesus is a movement from success to success, from triumph to triumph. This is not true—Christianity is learning how to live, and part of living is learning how to let go and embrace the suffering that comes with letting go. Bonhoeffer said it starkly, if clearly: “when Jesus calls to someone to follow, he is calling him or her to die.”
This call to abide is a part of that learning. Our particular culture is especially hostile to this idea: we are taught that our real purpose is the life project that is me; we choose those things that seem to advance that project, reject those things that seem to hinder it. But what do we do when it is the project of the self that is the obstacle, the thing that is hindering, the thing that must be let go? The wise of the Church for centuries have said these are the saddest moments of all. To truly know the power of the Lord means discovering his presence, his love, and his purpose when all things in life fail us, including ourselves.
This is the heart of Easter; into defeat comes victory, and you only need go to the tomb to discover it.
Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks