• Dick Sharber

Reflections: Comfort and Challenge

Lent is a season for paying close attention to what it means to follow Jesus. Where are we going? And who is this who is leading us? I found ten favorite of Jesus’ comforting sayings. As well as ten challenges:

Comforting sayings

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (food & clothes) will be yours as well.

Everyone who asks, receives; he who seeks will find.

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

So not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from within him.

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me.

In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.

Challenge sayings

Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant; whoever wants to be first must be your slave.

Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.

All will hate you because of me. But by standing firm you will gain life.

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

What are we to make of such a leader, and his road? We find in the Gospels as we find through life, a Lord not hesitant to challenge us. Who allows us to walk through rough places beyond our understanding. Even while we devote ourselves to continuing our savior’s work of love, daily renewed in his comfort and strength.

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