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The journey is long. The road is narrow. Loose jagged rocks spread out side to side. My shoes, they wore through their soles miles back. Sometimes there are still those certain stones that pierce my feet. Yet others, my feet have grown accustomed to over time, they no longer break my skin. Some days the sky opens up and the rain cools my flushed face. Other days the sun pours out its warmth and life into my heart.

And still, there are days when the intensity of the sun’s solar rays penetrate my defenses. My clothes, they turned to rags a few days back, no longer able to offer protection from the elements. But this long walk is all about my perspective, my attitude. Each day my feet, even though pierced and bruised, are prepared further for the rocky terrain up ahead. Pain now produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.

What is there to do when I reach what looks to be the summit, the pinnacle, and it turns out to be just another ridge along the way? Give up now, no! Keep going, keep pressing on, keep faith, and keep the joy! Joy empowers me to keep on moving. How is it that I expect the finish line, when I know it is not the destination that really matters? The journey prepares me with suffering and joy for the summit where true love remains. Without this journey, how can I expect to breath the air up there, where the oxygen is so thin?

But, there is one who goes before me. He prepared the trail, the narrow path to the summit. My hope is in him, not only because if he can do it so can I, but also because he goes with me. He encourages me and teaches me; he listens to my struggles, he rejoices in my success, and mourns my losses. He is there with me. And that is what counts. What a great guide he is. His name is Jesus.

Jesus says to me, “Learn to love now because the life after death is one of infinite love. Prepare yourself in this way, so that when you arrive, your heart will be one with the Father’s. Without believing my love now, how will you have the strength to grasp the height and depth and breadth and width of my love?”

It is a love with no restriction, no hesitation, and no common sense.

The gospel is foolishness to those who are withering away, to those who believe in man’s ability to make the world a better place, to those who resist the presence of God, to them the message of the cross is foolishness. They say conquer with force, bear arms for your protection, violence is justified in the quest for justice and peace.

But to us who are being saved, the cross, where love wins out, where love conquers by death, it is the power of God. This great love needs no defense and no apology. It says not a word. Rather it listens, bears, and suffers. And somehow the mystery of it all is in the suffering there is power for true joy. Somehow in our doubts about the rationality of such love, faith grows in the presence of the great lover. Faith begets more faith, and faith grows in the presence of love.

How is it that this man, died for grace. Men of honor die have died for their beliefs. The light of the world though, lost all honor, for the sake of the world. Why not use his power to subdue the enemies of God? Common sense says use your strength to put these men and women to shame because that is what they deserve. But let us remember the foolishness of God is wiser than our common sense. His weakness is stronger than death. Jesus believed his strength was better displayed in his death, than in his triumph.

But here the mystery still remains, that in his death, love wins. And it is his plan to aid us in his way, of dying for his command, to love one another. And again somehow, in all of this, in what seems to be defeat, he raises us up with his glorious and beautiful self, to a life of peace that passes understanding. A peace that is foolishness to the world; these are the marks of his presence among us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So, let us rethink our common sense. Let us revisit our patterns and habits of life. Let us embrace the foolishness of God. In what men and women call foolishness, God chose to save us all. Believe it now, and watch as God gently and tenderly makes his love complete in you and in those around you. God is good and is on our side; so let his love make you a new creation. Lord, give us the faith to live out the power of the cross in a blind world that can only be saved by love.

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