Our Lenten Devotion for Saturday, April 9, comes to us from Steadfast Love which features reflections and prayers by Ed Arle and Gil Duchow with inspiration from the works of Henri J.M. Nouwen.
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
“Drinking the cup that Jesus drank is living a life in and with the spirit of Jesus, which is the spirit of unconditional love. The intimacy between Jesus and Abba his Father, is an intimacy of complete trust, in which there are no power games, no mutually agreed upon promises, no advance guarantees. It is on love – pure, unrestrained and unlimited love. Completely open, completely free”
(from Can You Drink the Cup? by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 107Henri)
When Jesus asked his pride-filled disciples, James and John, whether they could drink the cup of suffering that he would drink, they foolishly replied, “We are able” (Mark 10:39). A few years later, James found out that drinking his cup would mean martyrdom for him (Acts 12:2). Can you drink his cup? Foolishly, some prideful Christians think they can. At best, we can drink no more than a few drops. But by God’s grace, the Holy Spirit enables us to live a life dedicated to the service of our Savior. However, as we strive to imitate our Lord’s steadfast, unlimited love, we always fall woefully short. Thankfully, the love of Jesus is never in short supply. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. It only increases. What a joy and blessing it is to know that his mercy and compassion are new and fresh for us every morning. Great is his faithfulness!
Can we drink the cup? Most of us have tried to live our lives in the path of Christ – to, as this reflection says, “strive to imitate our Lord’s steadfast, unlimited love”. Perhaps we do fall woefully short, but God loves us unconditionally, and calls us to continue striving to follow that powerful example of faithfulness.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Amen.