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Lent 2011

The Joy That Comes in the Morning

Day 42

By Ilda G. Vasquez, president, South Central Jurisdiction

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

—John 12:20-36

In today's scripture Jesus predicts his death and tells the crowd, "While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light."

"Light," if we believe, comes to us in different ways at different times in our lives. I became aware of Jesus' light when I was 16 years old and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Eternal God, help us to always be thankful for your light.

There have been several occasions in my life, however, when darkness engulfed me so that I had to rediscover the brightness of light. The almost death of my husband in Vietnam was one of those times, and yet because I had the light of Jesus in my heart, I was able to cope. When our 24-year-old son Chip was killed in 1994 as a result of an automobile accident, light was unconceivable for me, and darkness overcame the bright light.

However, I had grown significantly in my spiritual journey, with much help from my active participation in United Methodist Women, and I was able to move forward. This fellowship of Christian women who stayed by my side and didn't allow me to lose my faith helped to keep my light shining, even is those moments of sorrow.

Just as I've experienced darkness in my life, the "joy that comes in the morning" has also happened over and over again. My marriage to my beloved husband of 46 years has certainly been a bright light in my life. The births of our daughter and son were bright shiny lights. And most recently, the birth of our granddaughter was a most bright light! There have been many other bright lights in my life as I have been so blessed over and over again.

Jesus wants us to serve him and to put our trust in him. United Methodist Women provides the opportunity for us to serve and grow in the light. We can be proud of the number of women, children and youth who are served as a result of our participation in United Methodist Women.

Praise be to God!


Eternal God, help us to always be thankful for your light. May we recognize your light as we go about our daily lives. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen.

Last Updated: 04/15/2014

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