From the chair and
the desk small group:
Last night, my friend Marcus shared a though-provoking quote during our discussion at small group:
“Acquire a peaceful spirit and thousands around you will be saved.”
-St. Seraphim of Sarov, 19th c. Russian monk
A verse from my Bible reading this morning reminded me of it:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
-2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Jesus’ resurrection does not only change what we experience in suffering; it changes what we display in the world. The Spirit does help us make it through hard times; he also helps us make Jesus known. It is not so much our tenacity and strength that will strike the world; rather, it is our peace and trust.
We carry in our bodies the death of Jesus. Perhaps this means, in one sense, simply that we suffer, for the one who loves “does not insist on his or her own way…[but] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”Perhaps we carry the death of Jesus in our very willing to endure all things, for “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who love but Christ who lives in me.” Probably it is both.
We are “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” When we not only endure all things, but endure all things with “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” God will not only “guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” but also “manifest the life of Jesus in our bodies”–God will raise our spirits and set them up as testimonies before the world that Christ has come and Christ is risen.
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.