April 24. Romans 12:14. How to Love Your Enemies Part 2: Bless Your Persecutors.

Romans 12:14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Yesterday we introduced this idea of loving our enemies. We said that the love of enemies is the highest love. It is a love that is at the very heart of who God is. Sacrificial love is great love. But sacrificial love for an enemy is even greater. God loves his enemies. Christ died for his enemies.

In Romans 12:14 Paul dares to take us one step further – love your persecutor.

You see in the first century your “enemy” was anyone who was not part of your “in group.” Every person had their “in groups” and their “out groups.” I love those in my “in group” and I “hate” those in my “out group.” That is I shun them, ignore them, dismiss them. Pharisees don’t pray with tax collectors. Jewish men don’t talk to Samaritan women at wells. The religious and prostitutes don’t sit at the same table. And Jews and Gentiles definitely don’t become a whole new religion together. That is until they are IN CHRIST.

OK so Jesus (and Paul) want us to be inclusive. To tear down walls. To strive for unity. Put aside differences. Sounds great. We can all get behind that.

But now read Romans 12:14 again. Bless those who persecute you (see Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28).

Surely Jesus (and Paul) don’t mean that.

And if Jesus (and Paul) hadn’t actually lived this, we would be justified in dismissing this completely and going back to just trying to get along with the people in our family and a few co-workers that we can sort of tolerate.

But the truth is that this verse IS the gospel. God blessed those who persecuted him. Jesus forgave his murderers. He redeemed his torturers. He did not curse his mockers. He literally poured out God’s greatest blessing, his very own life blood, for the whole world, all of whom were and still are his persecutors. Including you and me.

So, once again, we know this can be done. It was done by Jesus. And he wants to continue to do it through you. Through his life in you. Blessing his persecutors through you.

Maybe the problem for those of us in America is that this idea of persecution is too abstract. What persecution do I actually face? Sure people sometimes disagree with me, or maybe even avoid me because I am a Christian. But I rarely face true hostility.

But for the rest of the world’s Christians this is a command that confronts the renewed mind and heart far more often. Open Door USA reports that 245 million Christians are experiencing religious persecution today. 80% of the religious persecution in the world is targeted at Christians. I’m talking about real persecution. Violence. Rape. Kidnapping. Church bombings.

We were reminded once again of the persecution that Christians face when terrorists attacked churches in Sri Lanka this past Easter Sunday killing hundreds of innocent worshipers.

Our hearts ache for these victims. If my next words were “we need to love our Christian brothers and sisters, pray for them, and bless them,” you would have absolutely no problem with such a sentiment. You may struggle to follow through, but you would agree that we all should love in this way.

But if my next words were “we need to love those radical Muslims and terrorists who planned and executed these attacks. We need to pray for them and their families. We must ask God to bless and not curse them. We must ask God to forgive and save them. We too must find forgiveness in our hearts. We must reject retaliation and hatred. We must even be kind to them.”

Only understanding your own sinfulness and God’s grace toward you can allow you to say such words. Only understanding your son-ship in Christ can bring you to these conclusions. Only knowing that Christ is in you, and that these are the exact words and actions he displayed at the cross, can allow you to say and truly believe these words.

Please understand that this in no way negates the need for and the heartfelt cry for justice. Romans 12:14 and the command of our Savior to bless our persecutors does not mean that there is no divine recompense for evil, or that God doesn’t care about the victim’s pain and suffering. We will address this further in a future blog, but for now we must realize that it is precisely because of God’s ultimate justice that I can obey Romans 12:14 and bless and curse not.

“To live is Christ” means that we have the genuine love of Jesus inside of us. He loves us, his persecutors. We killed him. We nailed him to the cross. We ignored, mocked, and belittled him. And yet he forgave us and blessed us with his own indwelling life. His same powerful love is in you and me.

For my American readers – I know it is easy to ignore the persecution that our brothers and sisters in Christ face each and every day around the world. Please don’t. Read about it. Research it. Pray. Pray. Pray. It’s coming our way. I promise. It’s just a matter of time. How will you respond? How will you teach your children and grandchildren to respond? With love? With forgiveness? With blessing? Or with cursing?

April 23. Romans 12:14. How to Love Your Enemies Part 1: Remember Your Sonship.

Romans 12:14; 17-21. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Before taking a break from Romans for Holy Week we completed a 13 part look at “How to Love” from Romans 12. All 13 of those blogs dealt with how to love our brothers and sisters in Christ with “genuine love” (12:9). The things Paul says in Romans 12 about love are convicting, challenging, and sometimes seemingly impossible. And we haven’t even gotten to the hardest part yet – love of our enemies.

Love of enemy is the highest level of love. In fact, it doesn’t even exist in the Old Testament Law. By Jesus’ day rabbis were teaching that the law actually said that you could hate your enemies.

Matthew 5:43. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

This is of course not true. The law did not allow for hate. But to be fair, it didn’t tell me to love my enemy either. But Jesus did. He flipped the law on its head with these words:
Luke 6:27-28; 32-36. “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

The command to love and pray for your enemies was unheard of. Think about what Jesus is saying. It’s not just a command to avoid trouble, or stay neutral, or even to just not retaliate. It’s not peaceful co-existence, or non-violent protesting. It’s actively doing good to an enemy. It’s preemptively doing for others what you want done to you. It’s being kind to the ungrateful and evil. It’s genuine agape love. The same love that drove Jesus to the cross for his enemies – you and me.

Surely this kind of love is impossible. I can’t even love my friends and family well. Most days I’m happy to just avoid conflicts. But in Jesus’ mind this is not impossible. It’s son-ship – you will be sons of the Most High.

They make it look so easy.

And Paul has the same theology. Nothing he is saying to us in Romans 12 is actually impossible for us. Why? Because we are sons.
Romans 8:14-15. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

But how does my son-ship allow me to love my enemies?

You are a son by God’s grace alone, the same grace your enemy needs. You were once the enemy of God, but he saved you by his mercy. And God can save them by that same mercy. Do you believe this? Do you want this?

Because you are a son of God, you will inherit the universe. Your enemy can’t actually take anything from you. Anything good that you lose will be restored by your Dad. Anything good that you miss out on will be given to you by your Dad.

Because you are an adopted adult son, you have access to the Father at any time. God’s presence is the continual blessing of all who are IN CHRIST. No enemy can block you from the presence of God. You can have God’s joy and peace even when surrounded by enemies.

Because you are a son of the Most High, you are deeply loved and respected. Everything your heart longs for is found in Christ. Love. Acceptance. Respect. Power. Comfort. Security. Honor. No enemy can take these from you, for they are in your heart.

Because you are God’s adult son, you have a purpose beyond the things of this life that an enemy might threaten. Your career, status, romance, reputation, these are not your mission. In fact, your enemy IS your mission, for she is God’s mission.

Because you are a son of God, you can trust God with every part of your life, even the things that an enemy might try to destroy. God is using all things to conform you into the image of Christ the Son. Even persecution. Especially persecution.

Because we are sons of God we have been loved genuinely. Because we are sons of God we can love genuinely. And the most genuine love in the world is to love an enemy. “To live is Christ” gives you everything your heart needs to love. Even those who will never love you back. Even those who persecute you. Even an enemy. Do you believe this?

April 21. Holy Week Day 8 Easter Sunday: A Place With God.

John 20:11-18. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

What Jesus says to Mary on Easter Sunday in the garden is remarkable – Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Jesus’ place was with God. He had to go back to the Father. I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

Your Father. Your God.

Our place is now with God. With our Father. All because of the resurrection. Our destiny is not to stay in the grave, but to rise and ascend to the Father. To perfect love and perfect holiness. Our place is with God is the truth that changes everything. It’s the final truth of Holy Week that allows us to experience Holy Week in our hearts each day.

Death is not the end.

Our place with God lets us live in our Silent Saturday. To not just endure the suffering and sorrow of this life but to endure with power and hope. To endure knowing that we are being conformed into the Crucified Christ. The resurrection turns our Saturday from hiding into going – going into all the world to preach the good news.

Our place with God lets us embrace the sacrificial love of Good Friday. We can give up everything in this life because we know we will gain everything when we are united to the Father in glory. The resurrection makes us living sacrifices for all the world to see.

Our place with God allows us to love the command of Maundy Thursday. The command given at the table to love one another as Christ has loved us. We have seen this love on Friday. We have received this love in Christ on Sunday. The love of the Father that is more powerful than death. The resurrection makes loving others this way plausible. No fear of rejection, nothing to lose, everything to gain.

Our place with God empowers us to pour out our lives for Christ as Mary did on Spy Wednesday. To turn our greatest treasure over to Jesus, even our hearts. The resurrection makes this level of commitment our “reasonable service” (Rom. 12:2).

Our place with God moves us up and out into the world with the authority of God’s truth backing us up. The authority Christ gave to us on Holy Tuesday. The authority he commissioned us with when he sent us out. The resurrection is ultimate truth, and it gives you the right to speak that truth regardless of who will respond or how they will respond.

Our place with God demands the same purity of the Temple that Jesus demanded on Holy Monday. We must strive for righteousness. The resurrection allows Christ to give us his imputed righteousness. Now righteous is the identity that we both ARE and are BECOMING.

Our place with God lets our hearts long for the victorious return of our Savior-King as on Palm Sunday. The resurrection requires God to claim his own. His children. Christ’s bride. With him forever.

Our place is with God. God return for your people. We will cry hosanna. We will wave palm branches. We will see your face. Jesus we pray maranatha. Come quickly. Amen.

And now here’s your unlikely Easter playlist:

I dare you to not get goosebumps.

April 20. Holy Week Day 7 Silent Saturday: A Quiet Place

Mark 15: 46-47. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Matthew 27:62-66. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Very little is written about the day between the death of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus. The scriptures above tell us that Jesus was buried and that the religious leaders were worried about some sort of resurrection hoax. Sometimes we call this day Silent Saturday. It seems appropriate. Jesus is dead. The disciples are hiding. But the rest of the world picks up where it left off. It’s just another Jewish Sabbath. A quiet day of rest.

We live in Silent Saturday. The time between death and resurrection. We have died with Christ and one day we will be raised with Christ. Just as Jesus lied buried in the earth, we have been buried into Christ.

Romans 6:4. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

We live in between the ages. In the “already but not yet.” Ours is a quiet place. A place of waiting for resurrection. A place of suffering and sorrow.

But we don’t want it to be quiet. In fact, we fight the quiet. We want big displays of God’s glory. Miracles. Movies about kids dying and coming back to life. People going to Heaven and returning (and writing a book about it). We want problems solved by God so we can testify at church about it (when’s the last time you heard somebody give testimony of an unanswered prayer?). We want to hear Jesus in our quiet time. We want loud worship music. Bright lights. Spiritual experiences that make us feel better. We literally want resurrections.

But what if God wants us to be in the quiet Saturday? The space between death and resurrection. The place of Sabbath rest. The place of burial into Christ.

In his death and burial Jesus has completed his union with humanity. He has now done everything a person is destined to do – Born. Live. And everything a sinful person is destined to do – Die. Buried. He has been buried into us, so that we can be buried into him.

And now we wait. We wait in suffering and in sorrow. We wait for our resurrection from the dead. We wait in between death and life. Yes, we are dead to sin but alive to God, but sin and suffering still remain.

And yet, there is nothing more to be done. Jesus did it all on that day. On Silent Saturday Jesus was alive but no one could see it. His life was hidden. His body was in the tomb but his spirit was in Heaven presenting his sacrificed life to God.
Hebrews 9:12-14. [Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Everything is completed. His sinless sacrifice, and the presentation of his righteous life, have made it possible for us to share in his life, including his glorious resurrection from the dead. But until that day we wait in the quiet.

We may want big grand physical signs but the true sign of Christ in us is the resurrection of our hearts unto love (see 1 Cor. 13). Quiet, humble, selfless, love. A life lived for Christ in the silence of Saturday. As we wait for a glorious Sunday.

Jesus we long for your return. We long for our resurrection unto completion. May the longings of our hearts in the waiting always be filled by you – your hope, peace, and love. Amen.

April 19. Holy Week Day 6 Good Friday: A Place of Justice.

Mark 14:35-36. And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Mark 15:33-39. And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Jesus never made it back to Bethany Thursday night. He didn’t intend to. He was up all night in the Garden of Gethsemane. By Friday morning he had been arrested and was on trial for his life. A trial he would choose to suffer and lose for you and me.

But the trials before the Sanhedrin, Pilate, and Herod were not Jesus’ only trials on Good Friday. Jesus would be judged six times by an unrighteous human judge. Through it all, he was proven innocent, and killed anyway. But much greater was his seventh trial. The judgment of God. The all-knowing, heart discerning, God could not find a flaw in Jesus. And yet he was rejected by God and killed anyway.

But how? How is any of that fair? How is it justice?

Because Jesus chose it. He chose to go. He chose to leave heaven. He chose to veil his glory. He chose to incarnate. He chose to become our representative. Our federal head. Our substitute. Our sacrifice. He chose to die.

Steve Rogers chooses to give his life.

He chose to move from submitting to God as his Abba who comforted him in the Garden (Mark 14:36, Luke 22:43), to submitting to God as his judge who poured out his wrath upon him in the form of the divine rejection of sin (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?). In order to do this Christ had to become our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), our curse (Galatians 3:13). Now we can move from submitting to God as our divine judge to submitting to him as our loving caring Abba.

This is why there can be salvation and still justice. God didn’t overlook sin. He righteously and justly punished sin on the cross. Your sin and my sin. The sin of Adam, and the sin of all humanity. This had to happen for there to be salvation. There is no salvation without justice. What is wrong must be made right. Offenses must be dealt with. Especially offenses against the holy God.

God is holy. And his holiness will naturally destroy anything that opposes it. God will do whatever it takes to destroy anything that would destroy what he loves. That means anything that would destroy us must be destroyed. That includes all sin, injustice, oppression, violence, and hate. We are all victims.

But it also includes us. Because evil is wrapped up in all of us. We are all destroyers. We are all oppressors.

Therefore, for there to be justice and still salvation there has to be substitution. If God had poured out his just and loving wrath against sinful humanity without Christ as our substitute, none of us would survive. There would be no hope of salvation. But because Jesus cried out My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Because he suffered divine rejection in our place, we can experience divine reconciliation in him.
To be IN CHRIST is to have this justice run through us. As both victim and oppressor Jesus died for sin. As both victim and oppressor we are free from sin’s effect. Now, as both victim and oppressor we can, by faith in Christ, experience restoration and justice. Justice that restores our righteousness. Justice that is our salvation.

God because you forsook Jesus on the cross you will never forsake me. Jesus thank you for willingly taking my place, my sin, my punishment. Thank you for protecting me from God’s justice while also giving me God’s righteousness. Amen.

April 18. Holy Week Day 5 Maundy Thursday: In Our Place.

It is Thursday of Holy Week. Jesus is back in Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover and, as only he realizes, for the giving of his life. Much will happen tonight. Jesus will wash the Disciples’ feet (John 13). He will give us some of the most glorious teaching in scripture about the Trinity and the coming Holy Spirit (John 14-16). He will offer his priestly prayer for himself, the Disciples, and us (John 17). And he will give us a new commandment, the commandment to love one another as he has loved us. This is where we get the name “Maundy Thursday.” Maundy means mandate or command. The command to love.

John 13:34. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

But Jesus didn’t just throw this command out there as a new law for us to keep. His words weren’t just a rebooting of the Torah’s “love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus’ washing of the Disciple’s feet isn’t just an example for us to follow, a visualization of the commandment. There is more. There is more to this Thursday night. There is a meal.

Luke 22:14-23. And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

Two little words jump out from Jesus’ reinterpretation of the Passover meal: for you.

My body for you. My blood for you.

This is why the new commandment to love one another is not just a new commandment. It’s not just a new law to keep or a just a reinterpretation of an old law. In giving of his body and blood, his life, for us, Jesus has fulfilled the law. He has kept it for us. In our place.

This alone is what empowers us to love one another, the truth that Christ has loved us.

Until you receive the love of Christ, you will never love like Christ. Until you are forgiven by Christ, you will never forgive like Christ. Until you are cleansed by Christ, you can never cleanse another.

Love is not a law to be kept. It’s a life to be lived. And it’s a life that has already been lived. By Jesus. For you. In your place. When you really believe this, you will keep the commandment to love joyfully, willingly, and naturally.

God, the order is important: you loved us first, so that we could love you and others. Jesus, I believe that your life of love lives in me. Your mandate to love is now my life, my nature, my very being. Thank you for living for me and loving for me. Amen.

April 17. Holy Week Day 4 Spy Wednesday – Our Place With Jesus.

Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week were full of drama. Jesus went to the Temple both days claiming authority and condemning the old religion of works righteousness. We don’t know much about what happened on Wednesday in Jerusalem. Which conversations did Jesus have? Which arguments did he win? It’s a little tricky to tell. But we do know what happened on Wednesday night. Spy Wednesday it’s sometimes called, because this is the night that Judas will decide to betray Jesus. But also, in stark contrast, this is the night that Mary will anoint Jesus in Bethany.
Mark 14:3- 11. And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Let me tell you what I’m NOT going to say today. I’m not going to say “be like Mary not Judas.” I’m not going to ask the question, “Which will you be this Easter, Mary or Judas?”

Why? Because this is a blog about being IN CHRIST. About our union with Christ. About having the life of Jesus in us. Therefore, we already know who we are in the story of Spy Wednesday.

We are not Judas.

Judas is the “seed of Satan.” He is opposed to Christ’s mission. He is greedy and rebellious. He only sees Jesus as someone to use for his own gain. Likely a political gain. He fails to see his real need, the need for a Savior. The need for Christ’s death and resurrection. He sees only glory, but a glory without a cross. His own cross. Judas could not find his place at Jesus feet. And so he left. He sought his own way, and in so doing his own demise.

Kylo Ren betrays Han Solo

We are Mary.

Mary is the follower of Christ that embraces his death. She anoints him for burial. She’s seen a resurrection up close and personal with Lazarus her brother, and now her faith in Jesus’ resurrection allows her to embrace his crucifixion. And her own. She gives everything she has to Christ. Not only her extremely valuable ointment, but also clearly her heart. She is united to Jesus. They are of the same mind. Their hearts are knit together as one. Like Judas, Mary seeks glory, but it’s the glory that comes through sacrifice, sorrow, and even shame. Mary has found her place at the feet of Jesus once again. A place of love and honor from her Savior.

God we know who we are in the story. We are Mary not Judas. But this is only because of your saving grace. Jesus knit our hearts to yours. Let us find your glory through your sacrifice today and every day. Amen.