During my earliest years as a hospital chaplain, I sat with a woman who had to face the reality that her sixteen-year-old son was brain dead. Though she and her loved ones had prayed for a miracle, every test confirmed that he was gone. The ventilator kept his chest moving up and down and maintained the color and warmth of his skin, but he had died. Through her tears, this grieving mother looked for ways that God was present in the midst of this tragedy. She realized that by donating her son’s organs, he would become part of the miracle that let the gift of his life continue for someone else. Even in the most devastating circumstances, she felt that God was making a way to move and work among us.
Jesus’ first sermon at his hometown synagogue does not end well. His commentary on the Scripture angers the crowd, and their rage drives him out of town, to the edge of a cliff that they intend to hurl him off. But this is not where Jesus is going to die. His ministry is just beginning. He has parables to tell, people to heal, and humanity to save.
Jesus passes through the angry crowd and goes on his way. This was not the joyous day his mother had hoped for. But the mystery of God’s presence is with him, even in this bleak and dangerous situation, making a way for him to offer new life.
When have you seen God’s mystery at work, bringing new life in difficult times?
God, there is no other before you. Help us to know your presence in all times and places. Help us find hope even in the most difficult moments. Amen.