About this post: We want to stay connected! This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for this season. Read them, share them, and pray that they bring God's peace and love to our communities. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc to 39970. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
About the author: Julie Judd and her husband Randy have been members at ZPC for more than 20 years. They have 2 adult children, Lauren and Davis. Julie has served as a Deacon and she and Randy are currently the community lay directors for the Awakening.
Today's Scripture: Isaiah 53:1-5
Reminders about this passage:
> Jesus looked like the average person. He did not have the glorious look of earthly Kings. He certainly had no royal look that showed the splendor of who he truly was: God in the flesh.
> He was the Servant of the Lord. He was considered despicable and revolting. Instead of following the servant, they shunned hIm, like he had a horrible disease, like he didn’t matter at all. He was considered insignificant and not valued–The Servant of the Lord who has come to bring PEACE, JOY, SALVATION, AND REDEMPTION would be rejected by people and deemed insignificant.
> When the servant comes and is marred beyond recognition–He was wounded for OUR transgressions, it was OUR pains he carried!
> It was thought that he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him--OUR SINS. He took the punishment because HE LOVES US SO MUCH. By hIs wounds we receive healing–He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, lifted them up, and gives us salvation! What a TRUE GIFT to be reminded of on Good Friday.
As we reflect on this time of change in the world:
> We realize all of the blessings that we may take for granted–the roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in, running water to take a hot shower, food on the table, and the thing that I’m sure all of us are realizing as we are all homebound, family time together.
> I personally have felt a sense of peace of being forced to all slow down a bit, instead of having our schedules so JAM PACKED with things to do every waking moment and always having to be somewhere.
We are constantly improvising to maintain the things that are important to us the best that we can–online sermons, prayer chains, online workouts, “elbow bumps” instead of hugs, teachers making videos for the kindergartners and the college kids.
Let us remember:
> Getting outdoors – NOT CANCELLED
> Family – NOT CANCELLED
> Music – NOT CANCELLED
> Reading – NOT CANCELLED
> Singing – NOT CANCELLED
> Laughing – NOT CANCELLED
> Hope – NOT CANCELLED
Let's embrace what we have!
Please listen to one of my favorite Christian songs “You Love Me Anyway” by Sidewalk Prophets in the link below
Dear Heavenly Father,
WE PRAISE YOU when we see warmer temperatures and sunshine and signs of new life with the green grass and flowers blooming. We praise you for giving us glimpses of HOPE–seeing workers stocking the shelves at Target with toilet paper and chicken finally being available in the meat section, for all of America trying to come up with creative ways to make more surgical masks to protect health care workers during this crisis. We know there are so many unknowns surrounding us recently and we know we need to trust you and your plan. Just like in this passage when Jesus took the punishment that made us whole and by his wounds we received healing–the whole world is in need of some healing right now and we know that nothing is too big for you! Help us remember another verse from Isaiah--one of my favorites: Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.