Our Lenten Devotion for Friday, March 4, comes to us from Steadfast Love by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:36 NIV
“’Standing with confidence before the Son of Man’ no longer just refers to the end of time, but opens for me the possibility of living confidently, that is, with trust (the literal meaning of confide) in the midst of hostility and violence.” (Behold the Beauty of the Lord, 27)
“What is this world coming to?” I don’t know how often I’ve said those very words. It seems that every day there’s something new in the news or in my personal life that causes me to lose sleep or pressures me to give up on humanity. All the more reason to take Jesus seriously when he says, “Be alert at all times.” He’s not so much warning us to watch out for the bad in the world around us, but rather, he’s reminding us what really matters. Namely, that the real life-giving question is not, “What is this world coming to?” but “Who came into this world for us?” That’s what I believe makes for a life that is filled with the possibility of living confidently, trusting that in all things, God will guide our every step in every day.
I truly appreciate this perspective that encourages us to lean toward the example of Christ in our world. I don’t believe that Henri J.M. Nouwen means that we should ignore the struggles we find around us. But instead of throwing up our hands in despair, Nouwen reminds us to proceed confidently and follow the example of Jesus who worked for justice and healing.
Dear Lord, you came to seek and save the lost, and to rescue all of us from sin, death, the devil and despair. Help me to live confidently right now in that glorious truth. Amen.
--Henri J.M. Nouwen