Before we entered, we had been invited to pause in our lives and focus on the divine love manifested in our Messiah’s cross. One of the early refrains welcomed us to give Jesus our burdens and allow Jesus to take them from us. That was powerful: I lost myself as well as my burdens and my sense of time. Nor was I aware of people around me. I was, though, aware of Jesus present to me and receiving me and anything I offered. I felt a deepening of discipleship with Jesus.
That word had several connotations to St. Paul’s hearers. We may hear strength as well as that which someone exerts. We may hear influence, even excellence of character. The connotation that surprised me—surely because of my twenty-first Century, first-world, civilized ears—was power to perform miracles.5 No wonder many scoffed! To be raised from death still boggles. Yet we savor being raised from our little deaths of being misunderstood, ignored, insulted.
- Rest in our triune God.
- Ask St. Paul to present you to Jesus.
- Praise Jesus for dying and rising for you. Savor Jesus selfless love.
- Ask Jesus for grace to live from your felt knowledge of his love for you, to live it one moment to the next.
- Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Give us our daily bread includes the nourishment, flowing from being accepted for whom we are and knowing the Trinity faithfully is committed to us: I, the LORD, am your God.
- Matthew 18.20.
- Deuteronomy 21.23.
- Galatians 3.13.
- Galatians 2.19-20.
- An outline of usage and Thayer’s Lexicon entry may be found here.