Monday, March 8, 2010

Pray-Along. Part Twelve

(If you're just joining me now, I'm in the midst of a day-long intentional time of prayer. Please join me. I'm praying for my kids, my parents, my friends, my friends' parents, my friends' kids.)

If there are no coincidences in the life of a Christian, then God really wanted me to be immersed in Genesis this season. It started out with me reading a bunch of (secular) novels written about the Women of Genesis. Then, just when I was thinking I'd stop driving out to Abby for church and look into going to something local, Jeff started a sermon series on The Life of Joseph and he had me hooked after the first installment. THEN, we (Arrow) undertook a project last fall, where our President asked 40 of our alumni if they'd each like to contribute a page for our Lenten Devotional. I didn't get involved with this project until January, when I was asked to edit, format, print and distribute it.

And yes, again, I sensed God's hand at work, because there were a number of reflections at the start of the booklet that dealt with Joseph's story...

Here's another one, based on Genesis 49:

Striking in this passage of scripture is Jacob's knowledge of his sons. His words are certainly not ones whipped together at the last minute. This speaks of a man who, for years, watched and learned about his children. A few stylistic choices Jacob made tell us the extent to which he valued his children and what they did.
Jacob used analogies for each of his sons to point them toward the depths of their own inner lives. We crave ways to see and understand ourselves. Millions of dollars each year are spent in therapy and counseling to help us get a handle on the things going on inside. What a gift Jacob gave to his children! Whether it's Judah's lion's whelp or Naphtali's alliteration, Jacob gives insight to each of his children. Jacob pointed his children toward their own individual futures.
Near our building in Manhattan is a man I've become friends with. His name is Parrish. He's got a fairly rough background. He told me in a recent conversation that he never knew his father and was rejected by his mother. At one point Parrish looked me in the eye and said that he'd trade everything he had to have a father and mother who loved him, who talked to him.
Jacob's final words to his children were a gift given by a man who cared deeply enough to take the time to think and craft his words for his children.

Look around you and consider the people whom God has given you as family. Could you take time to think and pray about them and their lives? Consider who they are and what their future may be. And, though you yourself may not be close to death, think about what you would want to say to them about who they are and what future they may have.
Lord, give us insight into the people around us. Keep us from being presumptuous that we already know all that is in them, but give us a confidence from you. We pray for our families to know themselves, their future, and you. Thank you that we are in a time when all people can come to know you as their king. In Jesus' name, Amen.

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise 

(Chris Tomlin's I Will Rise)

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