Sunday, April 24, 2011
Today is Easter Sunday. Over two thousand years ago to the astonishment of Christ’s disciples He rose from the dead. Their faith in what He taught them came tumbling down as they saw Him hanging on the cross and taking His last breath. Shouldn’t they have expected He’d rise again? How many times did He tell them? He had raised Lazarus from the grave in their presence so they should have had some idea Christ could/would do the same. Or not?
His disciples are no different from ourselves and especially, Thomas. “I will have to see to believe.” We read that and blame Thomas for being so cynical. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m quite sure I would have been as doubting and fearful as the twelve who knew Christ intimately.
For all these years hence Christians are still doubting, still fearful or else very satisfied they have it all down. Sadly a lot of Christians keep their churches more like a country club with the right members than a hospital for wounded souls. I believe we are to sow seed, to water, to cultivate and nourish new Christians for Christian service.
To fail Christ at the height of His suffering is forgivable. Ask Peter. Christ understands the failures of humanity. Understanding is how He forgives all of us for our sins. The one requirement is to realize we have sinned and to genuinely ask for His forgiveness. For some, that is too much to ask. However, that is the one element that made the distinction between Judas and Peter. Both had sinned but Peter wept bitterly for denying Christ. Judas put Him in the hands of his enemies by leading them to where he knew Jesus would be. Peter asked forgiveness and Judas did not.
The scenery has changed over the years. Christians now have a vast selection to study the Bible and/or the life of Christ. The early Christians only had word of mouth. I don’t believe miracles have stopped as some do. I have witnessed too many first hand to ever doubt.
Today, Sunday April 24, 2011 is the anniversary of Christ rising from the grave. The sign that Christ gave us so we might know He has the keys of Heaven and Hell. That He has us safely in His care through life and death.
Four years ago today Rocky left us to go with Christ. It was a rainy night and around 9:30 in the evening. He went peacefully knowing Christ was around the bend in the road to receive him. Almost simultaneously as he took his last breath he opened an eye as if to have one last look at his loved ones.
And then he was gone………
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Today is Palm Sunday. Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on the back of a colt. He was coming to worship in the Holy Temple of God. Since He was God and also man I wonder what His thoughts were. As God’s Son He clearly knew the outcome that lay ahead. As a man He knew the torture would be the worst ever imposed on a human.
It’s bad enough to suffer for crimes we’re guilty of but even if we wanted to stand in for Christ it couldn’t be the same. We have one life to atone for whereas Christ would carry the sins of the world from the beginning of time until this day and beyond.
As a parent it’s heart-breaking when our children go through horrific times. I wonder what God was thinking as He watched His only son………for God does have thoughts. He thinks, plans, reveals, He changes His mind at times and hears the faithful cry out to Him, He loves to please down to the tiniest thoughts we never reveal to anyone…..He is happy when we prosper and the list is endless. God is a wonderful father whose eyes are always upon His own because He loves them and never sleeps. He is keeping His eyes upon us to lead, guide and direct our paths.
During our lifetime He is the quiet voice who questions, advises and brings us ever closer to His waiting arms. I wonder how sad Christ was when the masses of people were singing Hosanna and laying palm leaves in His path. As He passed by the euphoric crowd by the sides of the road, He knew they would soon be crying, “Crucify Him.”
Still, He never wavered but continued on to accomplish the will of His Father. Have I been so faithful to do the will of our Father? Have you? That’s what our life here is all about. Christ came, lived among us, suffered unspeakable torture and held His faith to the end. Now we have a perfect advocate to give us an open door when we meet the end of life. I want to be faithful, I want to be found doing His will and I want to be a friend to the end of all I know.
May God hear our heart’s cry to worship Him and be pleased with our love for Him………..oh, and that “I wonder what He was thinking?"
He was thinking of you and me.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
One of the joys of Spring is to watch the color come back into my world. The signs of Spring come to city and town alike. I have lived in both and there are always ways of seeing Spring’s return.
In the cities manicured yards with blooms surrounding or in the Ozarks we see green creeping in from all corners of our yards. The first to signal winter’s grip is weakening are the daffodils and narcissus, crocus and the like. They are so welcomed after a long cold winter.
After the early blossoms the brown yards begin their transformation to green again. The birds are stepping up their place in the new season finding a mate for the first time and looking for the best place to build their nest. Their music fills the air and I find reasons to go outside to enjoy their choruses. In the Ozarks we have an abundance of beautiful song-birds and it is well worth the expense of their feed and the work of keeping bird baths clean with fresh water.
This Spring I am having the flower beds cleaned and mulched. It is something I’ve always enjoyed doing but is getting harder to complete before the season gets ahead of me. Weeds have no mercy on old bones and little sympathy. Instead of centering on what I can’t do I’m counting the things I can do and the list comes out longer on the “can do” side. I shall enjoy the work being done and be rewarded until frost time in the Fall when the last blooms are done.
Now that I use flowers and leaves to make cards my attitude about weeds has changed considerably. Many have pretty blooms and leaves and they are appreciated for what they are. It is all in the eye of the beholder. I had a neighbor once who never worried about dandelions because she thought they were pretty. At the time I was wearing myself out digging them up and worried that her mature blooms would blow across the fence bringing more for me to dig the next year. I have since decided it’s better to enjoy their bright yellow blooms and quit worrying about the next time around. The neighbor of long ago has since died and every time I see a dandelion I think of her.
Life is so much nicer when we let go of the small stuff…………..