Daily Devotion for Tuesday 18th June 2024

What can we bear witness to? What story might we tell of all that faith means for us? What account might we give of what God is up to in our lives?

We read a powerful companion piece to this thief’s crucifixion confession in Hebrews: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (12; 1-2a).

One of the first witnesses to name Jesus as some kind of saviour was this nameless man dying beside him on another cross (Luke 23: 32-43). We know almost nothing at all about him other than that he’s a criminal, sentenced to death by the Romans. But we glimpse his stunning beliefs. He believes that he is guilty and that his execution is a just punishment for the things he has done. He’s not into denial about himself. Maybe that self-awareness and honesty is what lets him find, amidst the horror of Golgotha, someone to cling to. 
Jesus knows him. They aren’t about to be released from their suffering by armies of angels. The nails don’t vanish in puffs of divinity. But Jesus truly knows him, hears him, loves him and bears witness to their shared future: “…today you will be with me in paradise.”

Here might be a couplet to dwell upon; this little exchange. What does it feel like and mean for me to say, “Jesus, remember me…”? Can I throw myself into that longing and this trust? Do I dare? How does it feel for me to hear Jesus reply, “Today you will be with me…”? Can this tiny conversation find fresh fulfilment in my life as today unfolds? 

Prayer

When I strip away some of the masks and armour I might wear to protect myself from all that life can throw, Jesus, meet the real me. Meet me where I don’t pretend to be what I’m not. Meet me where the truth is all there is. Meet me. Let me discover the riches and the wonders of your love for me. Let trust deepen, hope grow. Jesus, remember me. Amen.

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