April 7, 2013
It is now the Sunday after Easter. What a difference a week has made:
- The eggs are gone
- The candy dish is running low
- The cookies are down to crumbs
- The ham has slid to the rear of the refrigerator
- The gloves and bonnets? Back on the closet shelf
- The familiar hymns forgotten once more
It was a blessing to see you last week. Wow, the joy. Wow, the happy noise of a church bursting at the seams. Oh, the traffic coming and going between the services. OH, the hugs from faces not seen in a long time. As I sit once more in my favorite pew, I realize I didn’t mind worshiping in another to make space for you in my “regular” pew. One more thing . . .
Jesus misses you today. I do, too. Blessings!
April 9, 2012
When Mary Magdalene realized Jesus was not “gone” but had risen and suddenly realized the one who was close to her was not working to weed the garden, I’m sure she wanted to hug Him and hold Him close. She didn’t get to do that though, did she?
He did give her a task to do. It wasn’t exactly what she had in mind, but she ran to do as He asked. She didn’t stand and whine about “but I want to . . . ” I might have been tempted to.
When the remaining 11 of His apostles finally knew He’d risen and when Thomas placed his hands in the placed where Jesus flesh was torn and thus satisfied himself that this was “for real” how do you think they really felt?
I would have been excited and then eagerly begun planning the campfire gathering, wine and fish and sitting at my Lord’s feet once again totally enjoying His return to stay. It didn’t exactly go that way for them, though, did it? No welcome back party . . . just more confusion.
They didn’t have His Holy Spirit yet, but we do. His peace is inside us. Don’t know about you, but I don’t always focus as I should and thus while that peace in inside me, I don’t always live into it. I sure didn’t this morning. I’m going to try to refocus this afternoon.
Jesus rose from the dead. He did not leave us alone to stumble about. What a gift that is!
April 6, 2012
It is Good Friday.
I’m preparing to head to church and as I write this I’m thinking about things and trying to keep things in perspective, but it’s a dark and rainy day and I’m recalling last night . . . just as the service had ended and the church had been stripped of all the beautiful linens and other sacred things and left bare and plain something remarkable happened. At that very moment the storm outdoors magnified and as the sanctuary went dark the loudest clap of thunder and lightning was heard as though to wake us up to all that was to come . . .
I know that Easter will soon be here and that beauty and joy will return SPLENDIDLY, but just now I find I’m focused on death on a rough wooden cross. I am wondering what they did with it after Jesus was placed in the tomb? Did they cast lots for it to recycle its wood as they did for His clothing? It was raw wood and surely stained with His blood . . . “it is finished” He said. It is finished . . . and yet, it truly had only just begun.
April 5, 2012
We sing of all God’s creatures and His great love for them, yet we take that love for granted. I am reminded of this great love just now because of a television program I watched while having lunch. In this program, a small child was crying because a raccoon died. She was a farm girl and her family tried to nurse the creature back to health and was unable to. Such scenes and sentiment make us smile and think of the innocence of children. This time it made me think of so much more.
You know, I have a friend . . . Katrena. She is at once both strong and gentle. Her strength from the Lord is expressed in such an amazing heart for her Lord and she reflects His compassion in her gentleness and love for every one of God’s creatures, human or otherwise. Katrena would have wanted to save that wounded raccoon just as the young girl on the program on television did. She, too, would have likely cried when she couldn’t help the poor thing or relieve its pain.
As I write this, it’s Thursday of Holy Week and my heart, soul, and mind are on my Jesus and His amazing love for us. His compassion. His suffering for our sake. His death – a brutal death – so that we might have eternal life. I think of this now, but admit that at other times of the year I do not always think of it. The same compassion which made a little girl cry and which I see in the eyes and in the deeds of my friend Katrena? That is how Jesus is! He would have picked up the wild little beast and He would have cried. Knowing this, please take a moment and ponder, if you will,just how much you and I are loved?
Tomorrow, Good Friday, we celebrate that love as we observe His death on a cross for our redemption. Wow.
April 4, 2012
Working a bit in the garden got me to thinking, as such tasks so often do. Hands busy and mind, heart, and soul adrift . . . these are usually times spent with Jesus.
Good Friday is close at hand and so I find myself wondering what those very close to Jesus were thinking or doing today. He tried to tell His apostles what was going to happen, yet we know they didn’t understand. Though the Bible doesn’t reveal it, I’m thinking He may also have tried to tell His friends in Bethany . . . Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, what was about to happen and if He did, I’m thinking they as well may have misunderstood . . .
Jesus, as we know, was fully human and fully God and as such experienced some of what we do. I’m sure it was difficult to tell His friends He was about to die. He knew them well. He likely knew they’d be upset, yet there was still much to do before His death and surely they’d need to be prepared for what came next . . . He said yes to Father God and yet these short couple of days before “it is finished” could not have been easy at all for Him.
I expect, as was His custom, He likely made a visit to Bethany to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Assuming they didn’t fully understand what was soon to come, I wonder what they were thinking . . . knowing Jesus well, I”m sure they were concerned. Surely, they’d have noticed a bit of something different about their friend . . . perhaps they were concerned as dear friends are when something “seems wrong.”
Do you suppose they invited Him into the sunroom for a restful cup of tea? I’d really like to do that right now. I believe I will. I’m sure He’ll be there with me.
April 2, 2012
We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays around and through us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars.
– Alan Chadwick –
The life force to which we belong has a name and we celebrate the passion of Christ this week. The life force which binds us all on earth and in heaven and which compels us to reflect His splendor to all. Does it sound odd to say celebrate? The thought of His last hours . . . last days even . . . bring tears to my eyes and thoughts of Mary His mother who was about my age at that time. She watched her Lord, her son go through this painful end to His human life . . . it hurts me thinking of this but it is also truly a cause for celebration. We are not celebrating His brutal murder at the hands of those who hammered the nails. We are celebrating His gift to us of eternal life!