Today's lectionary reading: Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11
Selected passage for reflection: Hebrews 9:11-15 NIV
11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining[b] eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Have you ever felt as if you were in a situation where you battled shame, regret, hopelessness or just felt stuck in feelings of unhappiness? These feelings can open the door for thoughts that will eventually lead to the mindset that there is no opportunity for resolution. These thoughts will then create emotions that will also lead to unhealthy responses/behaviors. Our relationship with others, how we see ourselves, motivation for daily life tasks and most importantly our relationship with Christ is hindered by these consciences or mindsets. If that is where you are or have then been then you are in the moment where the Blood of Christ can do the greatest work!
That may sound cliché or churchy but it’s actually very true. Verse 13 and 14 reminds us that we have an opportunity to live a life free from feelings of guilt, shame, regret, hopeless any kind of unhealthy thoughts that overwhelms our conscience. Unhealthy thoughts can lead to death, death of hope, vision, goals, and an overall desire to live. As Christians it is imperative to remember that Christ came that we would live life abundantly, to the fullest. Now, that does not mean to deny and pretend as if the thoughts are not there. I don’t about you, but I am tired of wearing masks spiritually and literally. Processing your thoughts honestly in prayer, with a trusted loved one, Therapist, Pastor etc. are heathy steps to take. So, the question is, how long will you allow unhealthy thinking patterns to isolate you, hinder you in general? Seriously, how long?
Spend some time reflecting on the following:
What are the actual thoughts that are hindering you?
What does scripture say about these thoughts and feelings?
Who are the trusted people or what resource (s) you can connect to?
Finally pray along these lines:
Heavenly Father I confess that I have struggled with thoughts of _____, ____, ____ and this makes me feel ____, _____, and ____. You came that I should live a life free of negative mindsets and consciences that lead to death of the plans you have for me. It has taken me some time to admit this and I am ready to be a better version of me. Lord, I am ready to be free of these thoughts and allow you to lead me in this process. Lord, lead me and guide me.
About the author
Rukiya Davis is a native of Chicago, IL. Graduate from North Park Theological Seminary and University of Maryland. She has dedicated her life to ministry and the mental health field for the past fifteen years. Rukiya is also a licensed therapist who believes in the importance of mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy believers.