14 When the time came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles joined him. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you, I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom.” 17 After taking a cup and giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 I tell you that from now on I won’t drink from the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom has come.” 19 After taking the bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
35 Jesus began to cry. 36 The Jews said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “He healed the eyes of the man born blind. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”
38 Jesus was deeply disturbed again when he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone covered the entrance. 39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, “Lord, the smell will be awful! He’s been dead four days.”
40 Jesus replied, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?” 41 So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me.”
The creator of the world, the ruler of the universe, chose to “become flesh” and live on earth as a human being (cf. John 1:14). Would you expect such a being to have the ultimate attitude of “entitlement,” to demand everything that was his by right? Well, we know Jesus didn’t do that. As he gave us a model of what it means to be fully human, the gospels showed that his healthy human life included giving thanks in many different settings.
Share. We draw nearer to God by sharing all of who we are, including our doubts, our fears, our worries, our temptations, our delight, our excitement. Take this time to share everything with God, and with gratitude acknowledge that God longs to be invited into every part of our lives.
Lord Jesus, at one point, praying, you said, “Thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me.” Help me share that confidence and say “thank you” for it more often in my own prayers. Amen.
After 14 consecutive Big 12 championship titles, 2019 marked the end of the record-breaking streak for my KU Jayhawks Men’s Basketball Team. (Forgive us, non-KU-fan readers, for two days in a row of references to KU in the GPS Insights.) Many of us fans took to social media channels to express our sadness at not getting a chance to pick out a 15th championship t-shirt. But the following Facebook post provided a much-needed reminder to be grateful for what we had enjoyed all those years.
Hard times in life bring pain far more agonizing than when your favorite team winds up with the low number on a basketball arena scoreboard! How do we find our way to gratitude amidst the loss of a loved one or a job, hearing a devastating diagnosis, being bullied, feeling rejected, giving up on your dream…?
Today’s scripture tells how Jesus gave thanks to God – even as he knew he was just days away from suffering a horrific death. Jesus knew the cross was coming, yet he turned to God with praise and thanksgiving.
Turning to God... When being grateful seems impossible in the circumstances we are enduring, turning to God is our what is possible. God is our stretcher, our healing, our need, our hope – our victory (no matter the score) - and our way to...
Thank you, God
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