Summary: Part of Lent series
This is an important day in the church calendar. It emphasises an aspect of God we tend to forget. We usually imagine God has been up there in high heaven, remote from pain in his divine glory. When in trouble we tend to ask:- “Where is God, why doesn’t he come to help us?” Well, Patri-Passion Sunday means that though we cannot see Him or feel His presence He is with us and sharing our suffering. The Bible has many such assurances (Psalm 46) and this is our ultimate comfort and strength.
Trouble is thought to be the biggest obstacle to Faith but it may be its greatest asset. Success often drives people away from God and can make us arrogant and egotistical. Suffering, in all its forms, may cause us to look beyond ourselves for help and make us aware that God may be more real in the darkness that He is in the light.
(Psalm 139: 1-12)
We can learn many valuable lessons in suffering. Failure and loss may prompt us to take another look at values and life-styles, showing us that we may have been foolish in our behaviour. Pride is said to be the cardinal sin and trouble can make us more humble and realistic. Pain in body or mind can help us be more sympathetic with others and give us insights that are valuable and helpful. We can reach a fellow sufferer more deeply if we can say:-“I know what you are going through, I’ve been there “.
When the Bible tells us that:- “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself “, it means that God WAS with Jesus on the cross, though in his pain he felt he was forsaken by his Father and asked why?
Suffering can distort our perception of what is really happening and so faith is essential.
The Good news is that God IS with us in our distresses, wants to help us bear the pain and find the best solutions to our problems. Every loving parent identifies with their children and Jesus said:- “ If you being evil know how to be good to your children, how much more your father in heaven “ (Mathew 7:11) and “The kingdom of God is within you “ (Luke 17:21)
Patri-Passion Sunday..... “THE FATHER SUFFERS WITH US”