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Daily Devotional for September 11

September 11                                                  Mark 15:40-47

     "There were also women looking on from afar... who
            ...followed Jesus, and ministered to Jesus."

It is painful to watch someone die. Sometimes it seems harder
than the dying itself. The women who followed Jesus from
Galilee and Jerusalem watched Jesus' agonizing death. At times
during the crucifixion, it must have seemed impossible to
watch any more. Something inside must have said, "Enough!
I can't stand it! I can't watch any more!"
 Yet they stayed.
They watched. And when it was over, they took care to notice
where Jesus' body had been laid. After the Sabbath they would
return and perform one last gift of love - the anointing of
the body for burial.

When faced with dying all around us, we too are afraid. We
try to avoid suffering and death; we want to look away. We
don't know what to do or say. It's hard to watch someone
struggling with pain. We want to be able to make it stop.
Something in us, too, says, "I can't stand it. I can't watch
any more!
" Deathbeds make us uncomfortable; they remind
us of our powerlessness.

It helps to know that God is present even in pain and death.
We can be servants of Christ to the dying, like the women who
watched and served Jesus. When some of the brutal realities
of dying overwhelm us, even while we say, "Enough, no
" we remember that suffering, death, and burial are not
the end, but the gateway to a promised resurrection. While
we mourn the loss of those we love, we can still hold fast to
the comfort of Christ, pick up, and go on.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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