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February 13, 2004
Friday's eMo is always a meditation on the texts for the upcoming Sunday's worship. As with all the eMos, preachers and teachers are welcome to borrow, with the usual attribution. No further permission is necessary.


Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven....
Luke 6:23

The price of oranges is up in Haiti -- from twenty cents for a pair of them to forty cents, overnight. That takes them out of the reach of just about half the people in Port-au-Prince.

People are adjusting. The children in the orphanage can go to one meal a day, from three. Very soon, the food supply will adjust itself in a very traditional way: people will just break into storehouses and take what they need. But the roads over which food is delivered are blocked by antigovernment insurgents, so soon the storehouses will be empty. Another adjustment: people will just starve.

Jesus talks so frequently about the hungry, the sick, the ill. If He has an earthly obsession, it is those who suffer. He is like the Buddha, whose story was already old when Jesus walked the earth: a young man from a background of great wealth, who walks observes that the lot of everyone on earth is suffering. Jesus sees exactly the same thing, come from His original perfection in heaven to this hard world.

The Buddha leads humanity away from the suffering into another plane of existence. Jesus leads us through our suffering into another plane of existence, too, but it is not unrelated to the earth, not silent and still. Heaven is a place of rejoicing, a place of involvement. A place of inclusion. Heaven remembers what it was like here. The saints pray for us in heaven, and many of them got there by coming through sorrows the like of which we have not seen. Or maybe we have.

But they are not in those sorrows now. Those sorrows are over. One day those who weep will rejoice -- and perhaps only those who have wept really know how to rejoice.
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