Monday, Jan. 2            Read Ephesians 1:3-14

from Charles Consagra, First Christian Church, Scranton, PA:

Over the past year, I have had to console and pray with family members whose father, mother, son, or daughter is suffering from pancreatic, lung, or brain cancer.  These conditions have a poor survival rate and take a severe physical toll, both in the disease process and in the treatment regimes.  To these individuals I have often said, “Do not waste your illness.”


St. Paul, in writing to the Ephesian community from a Roman jail, and knowing full well that he would ultimately face his own gruesome death, never wasted time feeling that he had been abandoned by God.  Rather, he used his condition to celebrate the great blessing that we belong to Christ, and no matter what pain or hardship we suffer, we are at all times part of a Divine plan.


Help me to see your purpose for me in the midst of my hardships, not as a curse from you, but as the opportunity for me to grow closer to you, O God. Amen.