DH Update 18, Wednesday Wed. March 29, 2023

picture of Jesus carrying the cross

Wednesday Meditation (Matthew 4:10,11)

“‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
“Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.” ’
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Most of us do not like confrontations. We do not like to be rejected. We do not like rejecting others. Telling someone off is really a difficult task we do not look forward to. We avoid confronting others very creatively.

White lies or softer and gentler sounding euphemisms are what we tell others when we do not want to convey bad news to others or when we think the truth may hurt others deeply. In truth, we are avoiding the truth to protect ourselves as much as we say we are helping others with difficult news.

Politicians who are forced to resign often give false excuses like “to spend more quality time with family,” or something similar to “Time is right to tackle a better challenge…” We call this a graceful way of leaving their posts etc. In other words many of us play the same game avoiding the real truth that most do our best to avoid difficulties of rejection.

Jesus confronts the devil without flinching. “Away with you, Satan!” says Jesus. When was the last time the church said “Away with you!” to those who brought evil intentions to the church and began disrupting the church?

I was around 10 years old when I heard a very strong confrontational statement that shook me to my core to the point that I still remember so clearly. My mother took me with her to one of her volunteer medical services. As a doctor, she would travel to small villages without medical services to look after the sick people who often did not get to see doctors due to their remote locations. I happened to be outside of the tent where she was examining. She told the patient quite firmly, “you are going to die soon.” Later when I asked how she could say such a thing, she said that she knew this patient hid or threw away all the medication she gave in previous visits.

I often wondered how I would have confronted the devil. Would I have been as straightforward as Jesus and say, “Away with you!” Or would I have tried to wiggle out in a different way? Never mind the devil, would I have courage to tell the truth to those whom I work with or care for deeply when I know how hurtful rejection is?

Life as Loving

Each year, I come back to the same thought: how do I preach resurrection life in a world that is afraid of death? Resurrection life is meaningless and cannot exist if there is no death. Resurrection life in Christ comes after death.

A well known British newspaper The Guardian has an article about life-extentionists (yes, there actually is a designated term for those who try their best to live forever without dying) in Arizona. They have all kinds of remedies so that they would never die. On the other hand, BBC has an article saying that human bodies at maximum can last only up to 150 years if everything is done to extend life to the full.

This reminds me of a medieval folktale. A beggar was passing through a village during the time of plague. Everyone refuses to give him any food because the village was poor and people had little to eat. Finally at the outskirts of the village, he was let in a house and was given some food and bed. Next day as he was leaving, he gave a bag and said to the man of the house to use the bag wisely because the bag can trap the angel of death.

Soon after, a father of the house fell in and was about to die. When the angel of death appeared to collect the soul, the son remembered the bag. He opened it and the bag sucked the angel of death. The son closed the bag and the father became well. The village celebrated. Soon there was no one who was dying in the village. This good news spread as no one began dying. Everyone rejoiced. The whole nation celebrated life with no death.

After many many years, as no one died, there arose problems that they never considered. Without death people were growing old, unable to work in old age, getting inflicted with all kinds of death and the life of misery returned. Old people saw no joy in life and began praying they could die.

Life without death is not as it cracked out to be according to the tale and it is right, of course. This is why our understanding of the resurrection life is so different, requiring death before the new life with God can be enjoyed forever.

Easter is the right time to ponder about the life eternal, but the very eternal life that comes after death. It is the life in the new creation. Life that fulfils our understanding of what loving life can and ought to be. As Christians, we remember that this resurrection life begins in this life. It begins at our baptism and continues after death as we are raised from the dead to be with God our Creator. The resurrection life we live now is as full of love as the resurrection life that is yet to come.

Easter Bonnets are Back!

Once again, this year, we are getting ready for Easter. As part of our preparation, we are asking everyone to decorate their Easter bonnets and wear them on Easter Sunday. Be creative! Have fun glorifying and enjoying God!

Lent Project

This year’s Lent mission is helping people who have suffered earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. There are cans on the refreshment tables. You can also donate through a church envelope by indicating the donation.

Helping the people of Ukraine is coming to an end for now

Thank you very much for responding to the call to help the people of Ukraine both in Ukraine and those who have been brought to the Niagara Region. Your donations have been greatly appreciated. We are ending the project to collect clothes, kitchen supplies, and small appliances as of this week.

Lent Wednesdays Devotions and Fellowship

Next Wednesday, during the Holy Week, we will finish our Lent journey. It will be the last Wednesday Let Devotion. Please come and join us.