Week 2 Day 5: Jesus, the Savior

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.”
I John 4:14

Jesus, the Savior
I think it’s true that none of us show up on the scene ready to go, fully complete. Our first instinct, as soon as our lungs are cleared, is to cry out for help as loud as we can.

-Br. Jim Woodrum



Transcript:

In the first week we began to explore the love of God. And this week, we’re learning how that love of God has been manifest in our lives through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

A few years ago, I got into an argument with a friend when I made the statement that I didn’t believe in the “self-made” man. He pushed back a little bit, and he said, “But Jim, your success as a musician has been the result of your hard study and your hard work in the practice room, and in your courage to take an audition when there were many other people who could play the part just as well as you.” And whilst some of that is true, I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize that there were many people in my life who actually nurtured my love of music, who taught me how to read music, who taught me how to practice efficiently and how to showcase the ways that I could perform the part that was unique to me, and that might win the audition.

As a matter of fact, I think it’s true that none of us show up on the scene ready to go, fully complete. Our first instinct, as soon as our lungs are cleared, is to cry out for help as loud as we can. I believe that this is what the Johannine community was witnessing to when they wrote, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.” I believe we never really fully outgrow the instinct to cry for help. But how the love of God is made manifest in our life is by the fact that Jesus has come into our lives and into our human condition, to be with us, to guide us, to walk with us and to help nurture the things that we need in order to be fully alive, to be more completely who God has created us to be.

So maybe in your prayer life, maybe you would want to focus on: “What in my life needs help? Where can I not go it alone? Where do I need God’s help and love and provision in order to take the next step?” This is how God is waiting to meet us in our lives. All we have to do is ask.

We invite you to share your reflection here >

30 Comments

  1. Dorothy Wilson on 03/20/2018 at 7:36 am

    You are my saviour, friend, companion & I constantly want you in my life everyday. I love you. Jesus you guide & illumate the path I need to follow.



  2. Alex Karney on 03/10/2018 at 9:11 pm

    The comment about crying for help as soon as we’re born almost brought me to tears, my son is about to turn one and I could very much relate. Thank you!



    • Alex Karney on 03/10/2018 at 9:11 pm

      Sorry, just turned one I mean (time flies!)



  3. Mary Anderson on 03/08/2018 at 10:28 am

    Dear God, I am so thankful that you are in my life. There are many times that I don’t know what I am going to face when I enter certain situations, whether it’s going to a meeting, visiting with the doctor, helping at the soup kitchen or straightening out a misunderstanding. I pray Lord, that you will guide me; that I have the awareness to listen to you and I let the Holy Spirit move me. I pray for strength to help me through these situations, for confidence instead of fear, for wisdom when I don’t know what to do and the courage to stand tall and to think of your Son, Jesus and how he died for me on the cross. With Jesus beside me there is no fear. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.



  4. Jaan Sass on 03/05/2018 at 12:42 am

    I also struggle with emotional difficulties that humble me at times as I learn how to compensate for them. I have never been successful by worldly standards and sometimes I struggle or become envious of others which only leads to more depression. I guess for me what I can give God is my depression and anxiety and that feeling of total dread and hopelessness which I call my darkness when nothing matters. Also I need to continue to make myself present to others even when I feel like running away and disappearing because ultimately it helps me get out of myself and lets others be a blessing to me.



  5. Jimmy on 02/27/2018 at 1:30 am

    I am in constant need of God’s love and guidance. It’s when things start to get difficult or worrisome that I realize I’m trying to do this on my own! It never fails when I turn my “problem” over to God and remember He’s got this without my assistance, that the problem is resolved. Not always the way I’d like or thought it’d be but the way His will be done. I’ve been stressing for almost a week over a family crisis with one of our children, but after much prayer and being still/quiet and patiently waiting, I’m able to breath again and know He is guiding this situation. He loves me & my family and will always provide! All the praise & glory be His!



  6. Stephanie on 02/26/2018 at 7:30 am

    I am struggling with a clinical depression, marriage stress, and a son with a mental illness with whom I have to keep healthy boundaries. I want to return to work. I feel stronger than a few months ago, but still fragile. I need God to show me the next step in my healing, and for the courage to take it. I also need God to help me not take others’ anger and emotional upset personally.



    • Alex Karney on 03/10/2018 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much for such a vulnerable post. I just prayed for you, for what it’s worth!



  7. Mary on 02/25/2018 at 8:58 pm

    I recently moved to a new city. It’s been a wonderful new beginning. Since being here, I question God every day on how best to serve him where I am. Yesterday, I was presented with an “opportunity”. It does not play to my skill set, it is not something I would normally be drawn to, but it is a job that needs to be done for the greater good, and there was no one else who stepped up to do it. So I volunteered. Shortly thereafter, I regretted it. I am working to be happy about it. I am inspired by Jesus knowing how many times he plugged on, doing what needed doing, not always liking what that was. I read yesterday about Billy Graham, how he was exhausted and losing weight during his “crusades” (going city to city, meeting the hoards in tents), yet didn’t quit doing the work God needed him to do. I pray for God to use this opportunity to help me grow. I choose to trust that he has put me here to teach me and will not fail to be with me as I serve.



  8. Deborah on 02/25/2018 at 7:41 pm

    Brother Jim’s pull quote about how we enter into the world crying out for help resonated with me deeply. I am responding after returning from a trip across the Atlantic with a retreat group that was cliquey and where I often felt left out and alone, rather than in community. These daily meditations from SSJE on the Gospel of John comforted me with the reminder that we are never alone and I tuned into Christ being ever present, walking and holding me. The rugged landscapes and geological wonders of the country that I visited near the Arctic Circle brought forth a sense of awe in the glory of Creation and were a perfect compliment to John 1 and its echoes of Genesis 1. Circular, swirling geothermal pools with rising steam were for me the image of God’s spirit hovering over the waters. So being alone, rather then caught up in the constant chatter and social aspect of the group was a gift, if a painful one.

    I also read Philip Newell’s book Echo of the Soul on the plane each way, and found it so profound and enlightening that I highlighted much of it. Reading the examples of Edward Muir’s journey to his true self led me to what I most desire and with which I seek God’s help.

    I most want to take the plunge into the deep of who I truly am and release all of the false narratives, the baggage, the pain of my past – the things that I hold onto tightly and need to let go so that I can move confidently and be in the present, truly the me created by God, uncaring of what others may think. I need to release the physical and emotional tightness that causes me so much pain. I need Christ’s help on this journey. Amen.



  9. Tootal on 02/24/2018 at 2:16 pm

    I agree. We do continue to cry out – through every phase of our lives. I am crying out again now – coming to terms with old age. I think this one of the hardest cries – Jesus not share this one ! But I will keep on crying out to the One who hears and helps in the still moments of life



  10. Jennifer on 02/23/2018 at 7:34 pm

    I cry out to God for help every day. I agree it takes time to slow down and intentionally connect with God instead of rushing ahead and reacting to life events.



  11. David John Drew on 02/23/2018 at 10:23 am

    Jesus, I am grateful that your disciples bore witness of your physical and spiritual presence in the world. They observed and listened to all your actions and words, they saw your healings and the miracles you performed, they absorbed your teachings, followed your path to the end; stood and watched your arrest, your trial, torture and execution… and they were there to see the amazing miracle of your resurrection. And then finally, awestruck, watched as you ascended into heaven. They were all blessed beyond measure. So, I am grateful that they wrote down all that they saw, experienced and heard for future generations to read and contemplate, to believe and nurture their faith and put into action all your teachings.

    Lord, I am also grateful for all your dedicated followers through history to the present day, especially those who sacrificed their lives to maintain the faith, the traditions and the scriptures that enrich us all today… that we alive today in the world have a secure faith and a precious inheritance. I pray for them all.

    Lord, in considering all these exemplary people of the faith in the past, I am both humbled, and ashamed. I ask for your forgiveness in that I have not been able to fully communicate your life and reality to others in an effective way, in a way that meets their standards. Whenever I am asked about my beliefs I stumble and fall dumb. There have been times when I was asked to explain things about you and your role in my life and I was reluctant to make any claims – I became afraid of being mocked and ridiculed… I turned away from giving my own testimony, and so I ask for your forgiveness in all humility – I ask that you save me from myself and give me the right words, in the Spirit, from your heart to mine, that I might be a good witness of your saving power in the world, every day and whenever I am questioned.

    Lord Jesus, you have reassured me that I have seen and witnessed your saving power through my life. You reminded me of how, through you, I raised up Brother Mark – a good man crippled by depression and PTSD – Mark who had descended into darkness and immobility because of his severe ailments. Yes, your inspired me with the story of Lazarus, and pressed me to visit Mark as he lay in the gray shadows, to speak with him and draw him up into the light. It was a miracle that your performed through me. In the same way, you urged me to sit with Brother Gilbert as he lay dying, to hold his hand and bring consolation and comfort to him as he passed away from this life. He described how he saw you waiting for him in shining glory beyond the veil of this world. I was able to give his heart peace as he left us. And it was only through you and your guidance and inspiration that I was able to minister to all those in Sunday Service through the past year, to prepare and deliver all the sermons from your scriptures. All this is your work Lord. Last week I comforted Brother David in his anxiety and loss with prayers and wisdom from the Bible. Today I sat with Brother Joseph and sang hymns with him to elevate his spirit from sadness.

    Lord, more than that, I see the way you work through others for the benefit of all. You ever remain a beautiful, forceful and tangible presence in the world, working miracles every day in every way.

    Lord, I continue to surrender my will to yours, that I may always perform your desires in the world for positive change.

    + Amen

    Pax Christi – David.



  12. Ruth West on 02/23/2018 at 7:09 am

    Thanks, Br. Jim. I am rereading the Gospel According to John now. One thing which impressed me today is the fact that Jesus refused to take credit for his miraculous deeds. He always pointed out to his followers that it all belonged to the Father, who sent him. He prayed to the Father and taught us so to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
    I so enjoy the comments of your readers, food for thought and uplifting.



  13. Bobbi on 02/23/2018 at 7:00 am

    I am aware of some of the areas in my life where I need God’s love and help because I don’t want to admit to anyone. But when I take the time with God, I am able to disclose them to Him. The evening is a good time for me to talk with God and ask for God’s help. I sit and knit and we chat.



  14. Kathleen on 02/23/2018 at 1:43 am

    This really spoke to me: “Our first instinct, as soon as our lungs are cleared, is to cry out for help as loud as we can.”

    I still do this.



    • Bishop Hollywood on 02/23/2018 at 5:39 am

      It’s truly a blessing to know that Jesus experienced everything we experience and yet didn’t sin. Now because of that anything that we need help with, he’s right there to be a help to us. All we have to do is put our pride aside and ask for it.



  15. Mary on 02/23/2018 at 12:08 am

    Dear Jesus, I am so very thankful that You and your saving grace are always at work in this world – guiding, helping, forgiving – loving us into Life with You.



  16. James on 02/22/2018 at 9:35 pm

    “…the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.”

    What an amazing statement. Take a moment to ponder it’s ramifications. It’s unclear to me why some people believe that Jesus’ salvation is only available to certain groups. It’s evident that Jesus’ salvation is available to everyone, everywhere, regardless of their nationality or what they may or may not have done in the past.

    If God’s love and salvation are there for the asking, why are we so reluctant? Is it because of pride, busyness, or preoccupation with earthly desires? It’s time to shed our earthly shells and don the armor of our Lord, wrap ourselves in the Heavenly embrace of our Saviour and Lord, and live for Christ and not self.

    It’s our time to shine our joy, love, and hope provided to us by the Holy Spirit to a world too busy to notice or care. For we all need the love of God whether we wish to admit it or not.

    This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!



  17. Shawn on 02/22/2018 at 6:53 pm

    I too have questioned the notion of the “self-made” man. But I reached this conclusion from what I have failed in. What I mean by this is that I have pursued interests I was curious about. Interests I could make a living from. I learned about these things on my own; mind you this is using book resources and the internet, all things created by someone else. And all this layered on top of being raised by parents, attending public school, and college. I have not achieved any great success. I do not live independently on wages I earn. All along the the way I recognize where I have received help from outside of myself; and recognize where if I had outside help I could find success. It is in those things that I am lacking that I begin to see a metaphor for life.
    I know I can find wholeness through God, by way of Jesus.



    • Deborah on 02/25/2018 at 7:11 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story, Shawn, and how it is a mataphor for life. I hear your struggle, but what I do not hear is significant and that is anger. Peace +



  18. Susan on 02/22/2018 at 6:28 pm

    I agree that everything in our lives needs God’s help. The busier we are the more we need to pray. That is not mine. By the way. Check out Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence if God. Actually Jesus never leaves us, it is us who leave him.

    I like to think of it this way. Begin the morning with prayer and don’t hang up. That is mine. That way you can add little short prayers all day and Jesus will speak to you.

    I find that the Lord hunts me down if I get to busy for him. Just now I am recovering from surgery For cancer that I thought would not return. God did not give me the cancer but I believe that She is using this time to speak to me in ways She cannot do in my busy life. Again let me recommend: The Hound of Heaven.



    • Jessie on 02/23/2018 at 12:08 am

      Susan: I too respond to the Hounds of Heaven. No matter how far away from God I have strayed, she/he hunts me down through life’s long labyrinthine ways.



  19. Bryan Cook on 02/22/2018 at 5:51 pm

    I have had many good teachers in my life including Jesus, who have all had the patience to deal with my lack of attention, my stubborness, my mask over fear and my lack of self esteem. I have suceeded in having a rich and varied life, thanks to them. But I remain impetuous and a taker of unnecessary risks. Thank you Nicki for framing it so well…..I pray for the discipline to stop , breath and take the time to seek God’s guidance and let his will for me manifest at his pace. Thanks Heavens for the serenity prayer.



  20. Susan Marengo on 02/22/2018 at 5:43 pm

    I’m at a point in my life where I’m confronted with life changing decisions. I’ve been acquiring information where I can and asking for God’s help on this journey, to lead me in the direction he wants me to go in. There is comfort in knowing I’m not alone on this journey.



  21. John David Spangler on 02/22/2018 at 5:33 pm

    My answers to Brother Woodrum’s three questions are:
    What in my life needs help? The only possible answer to this question is “everything”, even the simpliest and most mundane. In particular, I need help with “things left undone” and with loving others.
    Where I can go it alone? Even when I think that can “go it alone” or that I have “gone it alone”, there is no place that I can go it alone. When I ackowledge that, I go “more abundantly”.
    Where do I need God’s help and love and provision in order to take the next step? Again the only possible answer is when we first put our foot out.
    Nikki, I do not find that asking for God’s guidance slows one down and, if does, it is only momentarily. More often than not, His guidance comes without our asking.



  22. Patricia George on 02/22/2018 at 5:27 pm

    I have called for help at times of great stress and He HAS come bringing welcomed relief. You know what is needed now. Insha Allah…



  23. Camille on 02/22/2018 at 4:38 pm

    I need God’s help in having patience in caring for my mother. My patience is waning at times.



  24. Keith Aldred on 02/22/2018 at 3:13 pm

    I believe that God is there alongside us always. Give us the faith and strength to walk with Him day by day.



  25. Nicki on 02/22/2018 at 2:26 am

    I pray for the fortitude to ask for and to listen to God’s guidance in every decision I make. When I make them on my own, too often I stumble and act from some emotion that is not appropriate to the situation, thus not conveying the message I wish I had conveyed. Asking for God’s guidance takes more time, but it slows you down, and so often it feels so much more sensible!