Hope and Faith (Lent) - Tuesday, February 20

lent 2018 devotions lutheran indian ministries

"If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been
raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and
so is your faith"
1 Corinthians 15:13-14 (NIV)

At a closing program at one of our conferences, a young woman announced she wanted to continue to work on her issues even when she was back in her home community.

Whether it is in a conference setting, in an urban center, at a workshop in an isolated community, or in a counseling session, we are there to help people, like this young woman, to come to a new place of understanding about the issues in their lives. We help them see there is a way out of, or at least a way through, the situations that grip them. With this understanding, they often see change is possible and want to take part in that change. This is the hope we desire to bring to everyone we meet through our work in Native ministry.

Many times, this insight is not in a physical sense but in a spiritual sense.  Their circumstances may not change, but their heart and their perspective on life does. Insight happens when they come to understand Jesus makes the difference in how they can navigate through their difficult life situations. It is this new understanding that Jesus knows and will sustain them that allows them to want to change. Likewise, the understanding that it was not Jesus or God that hurt them, but rather it was a person, fallen in nature, that hurt them.

This is the hope of change and healing in the brokenness of our lives that we bring to those who come to our workshops. The possibility of change is there because of Jesus and his resurrection. “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14). It is our faith and belief in the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes this possible.  

As the young woman declared, let us also choose to believe that we can change because Jesus really is alive to help us. Our perspective on ourselves, others, and life itself changes forever because of this resurrection hope.

Dear God, we are so grateful for the resurrection of Jesus Christ and for what that means to each one of us. Father, it is because of the resurrection there is hope for all of us. Not only is this hope in our physical life but also in eternity. Thank you for this amazing truth. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Linda Martin (Cree)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada