Thursday, February 27, 2020
2 Corinthians 5:20b – 6:10
The founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, reflected on a story from his childhood that defined much of his life. John’s father, Samuel Wesley, was an Anglican priest and rector at Epworth, England. John was 6 years old when the rectory caught fire. Samuel realized what was happening and awoke his wife, Susanna, along with a nanny who was sleeping with the other children. They all managed to get out of the rectory except young John who had not heard the call to get out of the house. With his parents giving into despair young John appeared at a second story window. Neighbors managed to get to him from outside the house, and he was pulled from the fire. John’s reflection on this story later in his life caused him to write that he was “a brand plucked from the burning.”
Lent is a time when we remember that God is reaching out to us, offering us hope, and reminding us that we worship a God who pulls us closer especially during times when we are most vulnerable. Paul describes a God who offers God’s own self through Christ … this gift of incarnation … who is embodied fully in our joy and in our sorrow, in our comfort and in our suffering, in our life and in our death. God comes to offer us righteousness, a pathway, and reminds us, that no matter what we face, we who are dying are yet alive … we who have nothing live with the richness of possessing everything.
It is God who “plucks us from the burning” and then uses us, like John Wesley, to change the world.
You have reached into our world and have come to sit with us in our living and in our dying. Use us now, O God, that we might be incorporated into the work of your salvation. Amen.