Here And Now

By Ken Woodley

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Those words comprise one of our favorite communion hymns. They come from the Gospel of Luke and are spoken by one of the criminals crucified alongside Jesus.

Confronting the crucifixion of Jesus is difficult at any time and even more disconcerting  a month before Christmas.

Death before life, in a way, prior to his life after death.

But don’t all of us have to die to something before we really live?

I need to die to my worrying about things too much, things I cannot control. My worrying keeps me from living fully in the moments of my life as Jesus and God wish that I would.

Jesus knows how easy it is for us worriers to be “nailed” to our anxieties, allowing them to become a cross we do not need to bear. I know I too often allow my worries to “crucify” my sense of peace and wellbeing, making it impossible to see the beauty that surrounds me.

“Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus constantly urges me during the Sermon on the Mount, “for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

I know that to be true, Lord, just as I know that whatever comes tomorrow will find you there right by my side.

My faith is strong but sometimes, no matter how hard I try, my fear is stronger.

“Jesus,” I call out, much like the criminal hanging on the cross beside the Lord, “remember me.”

And then I look over and Jesus does better than remember. Jesus is next to me, pulling out my nails of worry, taking me down from that moment of “crucifixion” and raising me up into God’s love and grace.

Resurrecting that moment in that day.

Just as Jesus is next to you in your own times of “crucifixion,” whatever they might be—we all have them; they are part of our human condition.

“Truly I tell you,” we hear Jesus say, “today you will be with me in Paradise.”

And a feeling of “paradise” is just what it feels like when we allow our worried minds to escape fear and ascend into the certain knowledge that we are loved by God.

As the author of Psalm 46 assures us: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Not a “past” help.

A help right here and right now.

By Ken Woodley

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Those words comprise one of our favorite communion hymns. They come from the Gospel of Luke and are spoken by one of the criminals crucified alongside Jesus.
Confronting the crucifixion of Jesus is difficult at any time and even more disconcerting a month before Christmas.
Death before life, in a way, prior to his life after death.
But don’t all of us have to die to something before we really live?
I need to die to my worrying about things too much, things I cannot control. My worrying keeps me from living fully in the moments of my life as Jesus and God wish that I would.
Jesus knows how easy it is for us worriers to be “nailed” to our anxieties, allowing them to become a cross we do not need to bear. I know I too often allow my worries to “crucify” my sense of peace and wellbeing, making it impossible to see the beauty that surrounds me.
“Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus constantly urges me during the Sermon on the Mount, “for tomorrow will worry about itself.”
I know that to be true, Lord, just as I know that whatever comes tomorrow will find you there right by my side.
My faith is strong but sometimes, no matter how hard I try, my fear is stronger.
“Jesus,” I call out, much like the criminal hanging on the cross beside the Lord, “remember me.”
And then I look over and Jesus does better than remember. Jesus is next to me, pulling out my nails of worry, taking me down from that moment of “crucifixion” and raising me up into God’s love and grace.
Resurrecting that moment in that day.
Just as Jesus is next to you in your own times of “crucifixion,” whatever they might be—we all have them; they are part of our human condition.
“Truly I tell you,” we hear Jesus say, “today you will be with me in Paradise.”
And a feeling of “paradise” is just what it feels like when we allow our worried minds to escape fear and ascend into the certain knowledge that we are loved by God.
As the author of Psalm 46 assures us: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Not a “past” help.
A help right here and right now.
And for that I give thanks.






2 thoughts on “Here And Now

  1. Over a life-time of learning and relearning to trust and lean on the wonder working powers of God’s promises strengthen one’s faith. In the soon coming days those promises practiced for so long will save us by being able to trust completely in Christ’s love and care.

    Like

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