Wednesday's Word

Nothing on this earth can beat down the indomitable human spirit bouyed up by the pure and everlasting love of God.

“Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who provided shelter for thousands of Jews in his friary and was an active voice against the Nazi violence. He was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned at Auschwitz. When a fellow prisoner escaped from the camp, the Nazis selected ten other prisoners to be killed in reprisal. As they were lined up to die, one of the ten began to cry, ‘My wife! My children! I will never see them again!’ At this Maximilian stepped forward and asked to die in his place. His request was granted, and he led the other men in song and prayer as they awaited their deaths. Maximilian had also lived in Japan and founded a monastery on the outskirts of Nagasaki. Four years later after his martyrdom, on August 9, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, but his monastery miraculously survived. Maximilian’s feast day, when Christians around the world celebrate his life and sainthood as a hero of the church, falls one week after Nagasaki Day. Each year, we spend the week reflecting on the best and the worst that human beings are capable of.”

Sometimes it may appear that evildoers are ruling the day. One after the other, we hear reports of heinous acts. Even in our own lives, we can sometimes feel as if bad or evil things are in control of all that we are going through. But the spirit of the Lord is in us and upon us. Nothing can take out of us what God has placed in us. We have a hope that transcends the workings of this world.

In Psalm 71: 4-8 we read…

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked: from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor. For you are my hope, O Lord God: my confidence since I was young. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength: my praise shall always be of you. I have become a portent to many: but you are my refuge and my strength. Let my mouth be full of your praise: and your glory all the day long. In you, O God, have we taken refuge: let us not be put to shame.

When time after time, we find bad things are happening to us, or people are heaping evil things on us, we can find solace in knowing nothing of this world will ever come between us and God’s love.

I cannot imagine navigating my way through this life without the assurance the God is present with me. In my good times, knowing God shares my joy bolsters the feeling of peace and contentment. In my bad times, knowing God shares in my sadness, my grief, my fear, my trepidation, gives me the courage to stand undaunted by whatever comes my way.

Maximilian knew the joy of God’s presence in all places and at all times. That gave him the ability to lay down his life for another, he was assured God’s love was with him.

God of all our days,

We thank you for your presence, and hope and assurance you give us in all our moments. Let us always embrace the peace you give us about any and every thing we face. Help us cultivate lives that are pleasing in your sight, that we might strive to know you more and more. In our down times, and in our up times, let us embrace your presence and be assured of your love. Amen.

Your fellow traveler on the Way,

Pastor Tom

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