Dear Suffering,

Near death on the cross Jesus uttered these words, “…I am thirsty…A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth”. (John 19:28,29)

Sitting in a prison cell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to Eberhard Bethge:

“God allows himself (herself) to be edged out of the world and on to a cross. God is weak and powerless in the world, and that is exactly the way, the only way, in which he (she) can be with us and help us. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (New York: Macmillan Company, 1953), pp.219-220.

Bonhoeffer is correct. If we are to be saved, only a suffering God can help us. Only if Jesus suffered like we must suffer, only if Jesus died as we must die, then will he be able to save us also. Jesus suffers with us. In this cry of thirst, all of the painful cries and all of the needs of human beings are gathered together. Jesus is at home with us in all our sufferings as human beings. Jesus brings God to all of us who suffer.

What is the place where you suffer? In your suffering the God of the universe who created you has mastered weakness and comes to journey with you. The mystery of the power of the cross is present with us. May you be blessed by the Christ of the crucifixion today and always.

Prayers: For the immigrant and the refugee. For all who suffer. For our leaders in business and education and government. For all who mourn. Dave Edwards and his family who mourn the death of his brother Bob. My mother Beverly would have been 80 years old tomorrow –March 30th, I give thanks that God's eternal love was with her in her suffering as she died. Jaiden Frye who is newly baptized.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

“Let it be ...” Luke 1:38

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