“L” is for Losing (Feb. 28, 2013)

…Opening To…

Yesterday, you understood a little; today, you understand better; tomorrow, you will understand better still: the light of God is growing in you. (St. Augustine of Hippo)

…Listening In…

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “ All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them. (Matthew 16:24-25; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “L” is for Losing. Losing is not fun. Think about those guys from the losing team in the Super Bowl. They don’t get a new hat or shirt and they don’t get to stand under confetti showers shouting, “I’m going to Disney World!” Losing Oscar hopefuls have to grit their teeth and tell the press that it was just an honor to be nominated. Losing candidates drift into obscurity or pundit-hood on cable news.

Society tells us that, if we want success, we must surround ourselves with winners, not losers. And yet, the Christian faith consciously and without reservation came together around a guy who purposefully lost. Jesus Christ could have run away from his fate. He could have fought the Empire with a small but heroic band of diehards. But he didn’t. He walked into the lion’s den. He walked up the hill with the cross on his shoulder. He walked to his death. He lost his life. He’s the world’s most famous loser.

Of course, that’s only the middle of the story. The triumph of the Resurrection cannot occur without the defeat, without the loss, of the Crucifixion. The author of our faith lost willingly. When we suffer losses, when we feel defeated, we can take comfort in knowing that our stories will never end there. Because of the triumph that followed on the heels of Christ’s defeat, we have the opportunity to participate in the triumphant final chapters of our own stories.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are with me in triumph and defeat. Help me to pick myself up after a loss, know that you are with me in that time, and give me patience for the triumphs that will come. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, thankful that you continue to shine your light in my heart and mind, that I may continue to know you better through every way that you choose to reveal yourself.

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