“Raised” and the Beatitudes

It is a Monday during Lent, so our devotional has us looking at the beatitudes again! The Lenten Photo-A-Day challenge has us considering the prompt “raised.”

We are in for a blessing with the beatitudes when we consider the words “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”

While the easiest photo selection would be of Jesus, I wanted to go deeper into my photo library. As yesterday saw what was hopefully some of the last fluffy white flakes that will fall from the sky, I decided to present a photo from a walk I took at the beginning of the year.

I love this photo. There was a piece of driftwood rising up from the icy shoreline and it almost looked like fingers reaching for the sky. In the depths of the ice and snow, this branch reached for the heavens despite being cut off from the roots that once gave it life. I saw defiance in this wooden hand reaching for the sky.

In truth, being faithful to the gospel often means that we will come across those who neither understand nor care to understand us. On occasion, those individuals are within the church itself, but on other occasions that are outside the church family. There are moments that following Jesus may lead you to have to make ethical choices that make life more difficult, personal choices that change the outcome of situations, and can lead to real challenges that can cause lasting difficulties.

In those moments, we are given the promise of blessing. If we stick to our principles, love our neighbor, love our God, and hold fast, then we can put our hope in these words from Jesus. It may feel as if we’re a wooden hand grasping air with nothing beneath us at times, but we are firmly in the hands of God. May we live with such trust this week.

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