April 18, 2021: The Three-Syllable Verse
“Jesus wept” (John 11:35, KJV).
From second through six grade, I attended a small Seventh-day Adventist church school. These were wonderful years, filled with joyful learning about God and what it meant to be a friend, among other lessons.
The older grades were assigned handwriting exercises to go along with Bible class. On one particular occasion, we were given the task of writing our favorite verse of the Bible. Without question, I knew mine, and proceeded to carefully write it out: “Jesus wept” John 11:35 (KJV).
The short verse was seen as my attempt to wiggle out of a writing assignment. I tried to explain that the text was indeed my favorite, and why: “Jesus, who knew the end from the beginning and knew He would raise Lazarus—not someday, but that day—was still affected by the impact Lazarus’ loss had on his sisters and the whole town. Jesus really does know our sadness and hurts with us when we are hurting! Jesus is truly the best friend you can ever have!”
A passionate plea or not, I was asked to pick my next favorite verse.
“I don’t have a second favorite,” I honestly replied.
To replace the shortest verse in the Bible, I was assigned the shortest chapter of the Bible—Psalm 23.
With current events unfolding in increasingly tragic ways, this verse remains a deeply concise picture of God’s love for us.
Thank You, Lord, for caring deeply about the big and little, public and private things we go through, and for always being right beside us! Amen.
Lisa A. Baich is the Pathfinder and Adventurer Steel City Club director at the Pittsburgh church in Pennsylvania.
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