Full-Contact Love
When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and closed the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got up on the bed and lay upon the child, putting his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes,
and his hands upon his hands, and while he lay bent over him, the flesh of the child became warm. He got down, walked once to and fro in the room, then got up again and bent
over him; the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
—2 Kings 4:32–35 (NRSVUE)
VICKI KEMPER | Maybe this is what it’s like when, according to the Letter to the Ephesians, we who are as good as dead because of our wrongdoings and shortcomings are made alive together with Christ.
It’s not easy or pretty. It’s not magic, and it’s not guaranteed. But Jesus, like the prophet Elisha, refuses to give up on us. Our deliverance from death is a labor of mercy, grace, faith, prayer, and maybe just a little desperation. It is a full-contact, hold-nothing-back love that paces the floor and tries yet again, refusing to give up on us.
Which is not to say that the return to life is smooth or glamorous. We might fail multiple times before finding our life-legs. We might sneeze and snort our way back to the land of the living and loving.
No matter. We’re here. We’re alive. We learn that life is pure gift and new life heaven-sent.
PRAYER Life-Giver who pulls out all the stops, Life-Restorer who never quits, thank you for seeing what is possible for me.About the Writer:
VICKI KEMPER is Pastor of First Church Amherst (UCC) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.