Sunday, April 5, 2015

Then Came the Morning

And Sunday changed everything...

I don't believe that Jesus' followers totally ruled out His claim of resurrection...and yet the fact that they were elated in full wonder makes one suspect they weren't really expecting it.  I like what Eugene Peterson writes:
It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.

Salvation hangs not from the cross but in the resurrection of Jesus that culminates all He said and all He claimed to be.  Timothy Keller puts it this way:
If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.
He lives!  My past was nailed to the cross and the resurrection is what has given me hope, a future, and a song to sing.  And I hang on to His every word.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


When I've had time to contemplate today (while babysitting my 8-month-old grandson), I reflected on the day after each one of my parents died.  They both died after living long lives and their passing was consistent with the natural cycle of life.  Expected.

Both "next days" were surreal.  It was hard to fathom that for the first time in my life I was without my father...and the same was true when my mother died.  Everything changed.  A cloud cast its shadow on every activity and every thought.  Life lost its zing.  There were no words for my pain.

Sarah Ockler wrote:
Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I'm heavy, like there's too much gravity on my heart.
Did Jesus' mother even sleep that night?  Were his followers helplessly replaying the previous day's events over and over like a broken record?  Was their loss compounded by fear for their lives and regret at their own responses to Friday?

Scripture is silent about Saturday.  I'm convinced we cannot comprehend the emotional suffering and devastation all those close to Jesus experienced.  They did not have the benefit of knowing how Sunday would turn out.  In such agony, did they dare hope?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Love So Amazing

I have been very cognizant of the significance of this day...the day my Savior died.

The weather outside today appeared as if the earth was grieving...weeping...remembering the events of 2,000 years ago.

And as I contemplate this incomparable sacrifice, a question keeps mulling over in my head:

What have I done with His gift of grace?

My life has been infested with failures...but my Father is the One, through His Son, who redeems and restores and has done so!  Not by the good that I have done...but by His grace.

Brennan Manning writes:
To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to be in need of grace. Honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners.  There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.
This daughter of a proud, self-reliant Appalachian man who loved God...must live every moment of every day in desperate neediness and reliance on nothing else but God's grace.  I must plead daily for God to empty of myself so Christ can be seen.

Love so Divine...demands my all.

More tomorrow...