Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

“Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again”

The sun arose.

The dark of night was being extinguished by the light of the new day.

It was Sunday.

The Son arose.

The dark sin of death extinguished by the light of the world

In Hebrew, the name Jesus means god saves. Through his sacrifice of death and separation from his Father, then the resurrection on the third day, Jesus, the son of God, saves us even this day.

This is the day of celebration for he beat the power of death. Not just to show himself, risen, but so that we too could, through his sacrifice, overcome death.

Though we still live in a world of darkness, of sin, heartbreak and loneliness, we are never alone, and we have the power, strength and companionship of the the one who conquered sin and death.

This makes for a better eternity, it makes for a better today too.

death

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King”
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

“We’re you there
When they crucified my Lord?”

I remember the first time I heard the lyrics to the song were you there, and tears fell onto my cheeks.

Over a hundred years it was a negro spiritual included in a book called Old Plantation Songs, and is a song of questions … from the past and for today.

Today marks the day before the day known as Good Friday.

For some it is called Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. It is a day in the Holy Week when the Last Supper is remembered, and is the model of the ritual of Communion, the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist.

For me, this is the greatest day of contemplation of the entire Holy Week leading to Easter Sunday. On this day I wonder at the events on that day of calm before the storm, for Jesus.

A day of prophesying and preparing his followers for what was to come.

A day which, he knew, was his last chance to speak to his friends who would become his church.

A day when he knew what was to come.

A day when food and wine flowed liberally for his twelve, but the reference point that they were got stuck in his throat.

They lay on their sides enjoying the celebration and sustenance of that day, yet it was his impending death that would give them sustenance and celebration for the rest of their lives.

I often think of the questions of that song, on this day. I ask them of myself, as I prepare for the reality of their (affirmative) answers. We were all there … we are all there.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (Were you there?)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross? (Were you there?)
Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they nail’d him to the cross?

Were you there when they pierced him in the side? (Were you there?)
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (Were you there?)
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
O sometimes it causes me to tremble! tremble! tremble!
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Read Full Post »

When my kids were young, I would sometimes hear their cries from the bedroom at night. When I would ask what is wrong their response would be, “I’m scared, Momma.” And so I would ask the reason for their fear. Sometimes it was a fear of someone dying, or that their favorite toy was lost, or the dark was too dark, or they just felt scared. I would then sit, or lay, on their bed and say soothing words, sing soft songs. Inevitably, they would soon drift off to sleep.

There was no magic potion that eased them into restful sleep. What my children needed was not so much resolution of their fears, but my presence with them through their fears.

Do you remember times when the presence of someone you loved was the best comfort in the face of fear?

Maybe it was walking home in the dark, as a teenager, after watching a scary movie. Or holding your dad’s arm while walking down the aisle at your wedding (or maybe you were his comfort?). Or that friend who sat with you during chemo treatments. Or the one who held you close as you walked through a great sadness or depression.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

This Friday, Christians all over the world will walk through the valley, as we remember the sacrifice of Christ for us.

As his body hung on that cross, he was so aware that he was alone. A loneliness that he was born to bare, a loneliness that his divinity did not deserve.

Yet, Jesus, though the fear of the loneliness of the dark overwhelming, showed that he chose the accompaniment of the name above all names.

According to Elicott’s Commentary:

“how it was possible for the Son of Man to feel for one moment that sense of abandonment, which is the last weapon of the Enemy. He tasted of despair as others had tasted, but in the very act of tasting, the words “My God” were as a protest against it, and by them He was delivered from it.”

He spoke the name of his father when he shouted, “”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), and in doing so he declared,

even though I am in pain

even though my heart is heavy

even though I have wrongly been declared guilty

even though I will die a lone being

I will not fear, for you are with me as long as I have breath left to say your name.

The presence of God is there for us all, we need only to call on his name.

 

Read Full Post »

Snowdrops

Spring has sprung, with the turning of day to day on the calendar. Though it is just the passing of time that heralds the new season in, the change of seasons on the calendar reminds us that things change, that there is always something new around the next corner.

Just yesterday, it was still winter … so said the calendar.

Over a hundred years ago, William Sharp wrote the poem, The Crystal Forest, and it so describes the most delightful winter that the Pacific Northwest has enjoyed (or endured):

The air is blue and keen and cold,
With snow the roads and fields are white
But here the forest’s clothed with light
And in a shining sheath enrolled.
Each branch, each twig, each blade of grass,
Seems clad miraculously with glass:
Above the ice-bound streamlet bends
Each frozen fern with crystal ends.”

And now, that winter has past. It was yesterday, spring is today.

I remembered that spring had come as I sat in a theatre of spring-seekers today.

“Winter turns to spring
Famine turns to feast
Nature points the way
Nothing left to say
Beauty and the Beast”

As love was declared, as the rose re-gained it’s fallen petals, as the shadows over the castle were cast away by the light, as the lungs of the ‘beast’ were filled with life-giving air, the song from the beloved story play.

Spring had come to the castle-topped mountain, and everything the light touched was transformed into something new.

Love came through Christ, and he fulfilled the work of his love in his Easter gift, casting away the shadows.

Spring is more than just a date on a calendar, it is change pointed the way through nature, and fulfilled by the Creator of the world.

“He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.”
Psalm 104:19

 

Read Full Post »

If you live in the right areas of the world you have the opportunity to view the third ‘blood moon’ in the tetrad (four) series of lunar eclipses. The shadow of the Earth will cover the moon for just under five minutes. It is a rare and exciting event for sky watchers from NASA to those under my roof.

In the Christian calendar, today is the darkest day, but it is not because of an eclipse.

Today, Christians all over the world, participate in a memorial for the sacrificial death of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus, the sinless son of God, paying with his body and soul, for the sins of a humanity, who could not ever dream of making atonement for ourselves.

Today, I bow my head in prayer, and thank God that my own redemption was worth the death of His Son.

Today, is a day of thanks for the gift, but also acknowledgment of how dark was that day of scourging, torture, crucifixion, and death.

It could be said that, for Jesus, it was a total eclipse of his heart, as the sin of all humanity separated Him from His heavenly Father … a pain far worse than any torture man had done. This is the Passion of Jesus, poured out, as a light in a dark, hopeless, fearful world.

2015/01/img_1911.jpgThe quote, above, describes what was done on that day, when what Satan intended for evil, destruction and darkness, God turned into hope, light and life.

In the following video (at about 1:17), we see how, even in our physical world, darkness cannot eliminate light, through the description of tomorrow’s lunar eclipse:

“Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain, looking up at the sky.

Overhead hangs Earth, night side down.

Completely hiding the sun behind it.

The eclipse is underway.

You might expect Earth, seen in this way, to be utterly dark.

But it’s not.

The rim of the planet looks to be on fire.

As you scan your eye across Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise, and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once.

This incredible light beams into the heart of the Earth’s shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the moon into a great red orb, when viewed from Earth.”

http://youtu.be/_70M4lkLKPk

On this day, as we remember the darkness of our sin, may we also see how that dark day has illuminated the light from it’s shadow.

“There will be no more night.
They will not need the light of a lamp
or the light of the sun,
for the Lord God will give them light.”
Revelation 22:5

 

Read Full Post »

Spring Break provided me with ample opportunities to be still.

For hours I worked in my garage … painting, sanding, waxing, sawing, nailing. Furniture was transformed, home repairs were made, and my soul was given room to breath.

Spending my time in such a quiet way gives me the opportunity to hear better.

I find having the time and space for quiet allow me to sing (and no other has to hear my horrid voice), to contemplate, to plan and dream, to weep, to smile, to pray.

Just this week, in our departmental prayer and devotion time, the person leading did so without her own words … yet my heart and soul heard so clearly.

As the lyrics to When I Survey the Wondrous Cross play, I heard them afresh, as though the weight of them, the weight of their story, lay firmly on my heart.

An archaic, yet still-relevant, hymn of the faith. Sir Isaac Watts is said to have penned it’s words about three hundred and eight years ago.

I glanced around the room, at the lovely people there … each of us with our own public or private sorrow, weighing on our hearts. Yet …

when we consider, when we survey,

that cross, that wondrous cross,

our own sorrows diminish, fade if only for the length of the song.

“When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain (deepest pain) I count but loss (no rugged cross)
and pour contempt on all my pride

Forbid it Lord that I should boast (weep for myself)
Save in debt of Christ my God
All the vain things that charm ( me most
I sacrifice them to his blood

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

Read Full Post »

March can be quite a conundrum of a month. Truly it is, or can be a month of contrasts, when one considers the weather. It is often a gentle month, with both warm and cool co-habitating in our days, our nights.

It is a month of new life, emerging from every living thing. It is a month of possible wearing toe-less shoes in the day, and snuggling under a warm blanket at night. It is a month of lengthening daylight, but dark shadows still emerging. March is a month of looking forward, to the warmth of summer, to the freedom that summer’s schedule can bring.

March is a month of dreaming of what is to come, while under the warmth of what was promised in the frigid winter months.

Just yesterday we, in the Christian church, celebrated the Triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the city of peace, which has, historically, rarely been peaceful, has also been a place of contrasts.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, entering into the city of peace. The people, laying clothes and palm branches at his feet, in awe of this new king, who had been promised to give them freedom, to give them peace.

Just outside of the city, Mount Moriah. The mountain climbed by Abraham, in obedience (and trust) to God’s request that Abraham take his only son, Isaac, to sacrifice on an alter. The sacrifice, normally made with a perfect (spotless) lamb. Spotless, clean … to atone for something dirty, marred.

On that mountain, God had asked Abraham to do the unthinkable, sacrifice his own son, as the only atonement for his sins. Abraham, in his trust of his God, did what was expected of him … and then God provided a substitute, a young ram.

And now, this Easter week, we see contrasts again.

A father preparing for the sacrifice of his son, but this time, there is no other substitute.

“and he is the propitiation (atonement, sacrifice)
for our sins:
and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the world.”

1 John 2:2

March, and Easter, in like a lamb …

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.

This is Ellen Peterson.

Playwright and actor Ellen Peterson writes mostly true stories.

Widow's Manna

A widows journey. Discovering God's provision is just enough for each day.

My life in words...

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure

Explore Newness

My quest to do or learn something NEW as often as I can!

Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

Have Kids, Still Travel

A Family's Adventures Around the World

LoBrow | UpStyle

Castoffs are the new couture

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

colorfullyaliveart

Get to know me and my art...