Daily Word of Grace # 35 (May 4, 2020)

In arguably one of the best songs of the latter twentieth century, a song I cannot ever remember not knowing, James Taylor’s 1970 masterpiece “Fire and Rain” there is a vulnerable prayer: “Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus? You’ve got to help me make a stand. You’ve just got to see me through another day. My body’s aching and my time is at hand, and I won’t make it any other way.” Unless you are a straight-up liar, you can relate to this prayer, either today or in days past; if not, trust me, your time will come. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus answers that prayer, both individually and universally. In fact, at his incarnation Jesus did not just look down upon us, but left heaven to be born among us (Philippians 2:7). Throughout his ministry Jesus helped people make a stand, including healing the lame and paralyzed who could not stand at all. On Good Friday Jesus’ wounded and beaten body ached beyond anything we could imagine, and his time was at hand. From the cross Jesus looked down again upon the world he had created, the world for which he became incarnate, the world for which he died, and prayed, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Through his death and resurrection Jesus continues to answer our prayer for help, and will do so until the end of our earthly journey, when our body’s aching and our time is at hand. In that moment, although we will not make it any other way, Jesus will continue to be the Way, world without end.

Love and Prayers,