Devotional Week 13, 2018 Thursday
Week 13 Thursday
March 29, 2018
“I will not leave you as orphans, comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless: I will come back to you.”
John 14: 18
“The Man Who Never Leaves Us” Part 7
“In Christ the heart of the Father is revealed, and higher comfort there cannot be than to rest in the Father’s heart.”
What part of my life needs to feel the comforting hand of Jesus’ healing touch?
“Unto a broken heart, No other may go, without the high prerogative, itself bath suffered too.”
“God is with us, through loneliness, bereavement, broken relationships and unemployment, as well as at times of great joy and achievement. Nothing can surprise or shock God. He knows and deeply loves each of us. Once we understand this we can live life to the full, even against impossible odds.”
This past week we have spent time with Mary Magdalene, a woman I call, “The Lonely Woman” in my book, When A Woman Meets Jesus.
After years combating the affects of being possessed by “seven demons,” Mary met Jesus. He wasn’t just Mary Magdalene’s physician – the man with the healing touch. Instead, Jesus became Mary’s lifeline. Just He is your lifeline and mine, too.
However, when Jesus was dragged away by brutal soldiers, then crucified and buried, Mary watched in horror. The only person she had pinned her hopes on was gone The desperation that once enveloped Mary like a fog now settled upon her life again.
Hoping to at least be physically close to Jesus, on an early Sunday morning, Mary made her way to the garden tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid. What she saw only brought the claw of panic around her even tighter. The tomb where she expected to find Jesus was empty!
Mary’s mind was in a whirl. Where was her Jesus? Who stole his body? As a tidal wave of grief rolled over her, she found herself wandering in the garden, sobbing uncontrollably. Suddenly a man appeard. Not just any man. This was The Man! However, through vision blurred by tears, Mary didn’t recognize the familiar figure until Jesus called her name. That’s all it took for Mary to realize it was Jesus who had been there with her all the time.
As I studied about Mary Magdalene this past week, I was deeply touched by the inspirational words penned by Henri Nouwen in his book, The Road to Daybreak: A
Spiritual Journey. His view of the encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene opened up, in my mind, a much clearer understanding of how Jesus accepts us not only for who we are but as we are:
“We have heard the story of the encounter between Jesus and Mary of Magdala…His simple and deeply moving story brings me in touch with my fear as well as my desire to be known. When Jesus calls Mary by her name, he is doing more than speaking the words by which everybody knows her, for her name signifies her whole being, Jesus knows Mary of Magdala. He knows her story: her sin and her virtue, her fears and her love, her anguish and her hope. He knows every part of her heart. Nothing in her is hidden from him. He knows her even more deeply and profoundly than she knows herself. Therefore, when he utters her name he brings about a profound event. Mary suddenly realizes that the one who truly knows her truly loves her…
I can see what a healing moment this encounter must have been. Mary feels at once fully known and fully loved. The division between what she feels safe to show and what she does not dare to reveal no longer exists. She is fully seen and she knows that the eyes that see her are the eyes of forgiveness, mercy, love, and unconditional acceptance.”
A favorite writer of mine, Kathy Keay, penned this short beautiful prayer:
“Thank you, Lord,
For loving me when I am
Give me love enough to love
Others as You love me.”
This is the kind of love Mary Magdalene found in her relationship with Jesus. An unconditional, all-embracing love. A love that wrapped its arms around her and never let her go. It’s the same love you and I are offered today.
“God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.”
“Lord Jesus Christ, we greet You.
The cross has not defeated You,
The grave has not kept You silent.
At the first dew of the morning,
You met our sister, Mary,
And called her by her name.
We are Your family and friends,
And though numbered by Your death
and away of the complicity in it,
We come hesitantly but gladly,
To confirm the rumor that You are alive.
Meet us as You met Mary,
With gentleness and resolution.
Speak our names quietly in our hearts,
That we may proclaim Your name
Boldly on our lips. Amen.”
Church of Scotland
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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