Barbara Howard of Independence, MO, USA
Reprinted from Journey of Joy, Herald House, 1990, p. 130
“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” -Philippians 3:13
As we packed to move from the large house we had occupied for more than twenty years, I fought back tears. Now that our family was shrinking a smaller home would be welcome, yet it brought sadness, too. I could not pack those years and bring them along.
Several days before the move I spotted a birdhouse still hanging in the cedar tree. It had been vacant for some time, so I reached to take it down. Then I noticed a carefully woven nest with several broken eggshells inside. The birds had labored as we had to create a home, yet they had abandoned it, leaving it behind like a small, empty tomb. Soon our house would be empty, I thought.
I was reminded then of Christ’s tomb and how its emptiness symbolized a beginning, not an ending. My sadness was replaced with a deep sense of gratitude for the many years of shelter our house had provided us, aiding in preparation for a new phase of life.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? During the Lenten season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.