At War Within (April 8, 2013)

…Opening To…

For a second after Aslan breathed upon him the stone lion looked just the same. Then a tiny streak of gold began to run along his white marble back — then it spread — then the colour seemed to lick all over him as the flame licked all over a bit of paper — then, while his hind-quarters were still obviously stone the lion shook his mane and all the heavy, stony folds rippled into living hair. (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)

…Listening In…

Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. (John 20:3-5; context)

…Filling Up…

We’re going to change it up a little bit on devotiONEighty this week with five days of narrative. Every once in a while at my church, I preach sermons as a character from the text of the Bible. Likewise, this week on devo180, imagine with me the Apostle Peter, who is in Rome near the end of his life, talking to a friend about the day when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples in the locked house (John 20).

I wish I could tell you that seeing the empty tomb was enough. I went inside the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there and the cloth that had covered Jesus’ face folded up in a corner. Thinking back now, surely grave robbers would not have folded his ceremonial burial garments while stealing his body! But in the semi-darkness of that early morning, I wasn’t thinking rationally. I wasn’t thinking at all. I was numb on the outside, immune to the sliver of hope that the empty tomb brought.

I was numb on the outside, but on the inside, I was at war. I always thought of myself as his most faithful disciple, but at the time of his greatest need, I abandoned him, I lied about knowing him to save my own skin. In the garden, I had been ready to fight to the death for Jesus. But the moment he took away my sword, I crumbled. I wasn’t strong enough to remain by his side without a weapon in my hand. I wasn’t strong enough to trust him, to trust that his plan included death without fighting. I was at war within myself, and I could not access a single crumb of the peace that Jesus had always radiated.

…to be continued tomorrow.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the life-breath of all things. Help me to believe even when I can’t see and help me to proclaim your love even when I am afraid. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, feeling you breathe the peace that passes all understanding into my heart and soul.

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