Finding inspiration for everyday life in everyday life

Category Archives: Lent

i am the resurrection

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)

Today, everyday, this is the reality of Easter. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. He conquered death, and victory was secured.

This glorious truth, that Jesus is the Resurrection, was shared to Martha long before His journey to the Cross. Before His death was even imagined or comprehended by His disciples.

In terms of time, we may live on the other side of the Cross and we live with the knowledge that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried and rose again on the third day. But still, this is a declaration that Jesus makes to us today. We don’t need to wait for “the last day” to experience the resurrection power of Jesus. Jesus is here now, raising us to a new kind of life through His Spirit.

So the question that Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” is the same for us today. Do we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Today? Now? Not just for a date in the future but for our today?

Her reply, “Yes Lord, I believe”

 

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“What kind of King would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars to win my heart”

What kind of King indeed?

What kind of King would allow Himself to be mocked and scourged?

What kind of King would be crucified?

What kind of King would see victory in death?

Love in sorrow?

What kind of King would shed His blood for me, for you?

What kind of King?

My King…Our Saviour.

Jesus.


daylight

So many of our days are “ordinary”, insignificant for lack of notable achievements or milestones. In fact for many of us we often spend days caught between the promise and fulfilment. We are in the hallway. And well it feels at best uneventful. It’s not exhilarating. But it is in these times that our attitude, our character and our integrity are tested much. It’s when we keep on keeping on.

It’s the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The day with no special name. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days on the entire church calendar. We learn across these two days that when God seems most absent He may be closest to all; when He looks most powerless He may be more powerful. The sacrifice and the victory seen on these two Holy Days. Powerful and significant days, but I would suggest to you that in a real sense we live our lives for the most part on the Saturday, the day in between. That time between the promise and fulfilment.

Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is Saturday. Just Saturday. Not worthy enough for a public holiday. Just an ordinary day. A day that is like so many other days. It’s the day after the doctor’s report, the bank statement arrival, the day after the relationship breaks down. It can be a dreary and wearying day. Weary from grieving. Wearying from fighting to keep hope in the promise still to come.

We may be in a Saturday season but we can live it with the power and revelation of Resurrection Sunday! The resurrection of Jesus gives birth to a hope that says you may be in the middle of circumstances that deny a reason to have hope but you can still hope. Hope reinterprets circumstances. God’s resurrection power turns death into life, despair into hope, weakness into strength. It may seem like nothing is happening, nothing is changing, but God is always working behind the scenes for us!

It may be a Saturday but let’s live in the light and life of Resurrection Sunday!

 

 


palm sunday4

It would have been easy to join in, to get excited at Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Everyone would have been participating, shouting out accolades, receiving Jesus as King. What a parade, what joy. Yet within the week we know that it all changed. The crowd worked up again into a frenzy this time though to cry crucify him and not hosannas. Friends, followers turning against Him and fleeing themselves. Hope dissipated, reality seemingly too much to refute.

It’s easy to cast aspersions on that crowd. How fickle, short-sighted of them and how very ignorant and weak. To go from rejoicing and praising Jesus to calling for His crucifixion. How could they turn on Him?

But there lies in this Holy Week a challenge for us, a question. It’s so easy on bright sunny days to rejoice in God, to praise Him, to worship. But what about those dark days? Those dark days when faith wavers when confronted by your reality. Your Saviour is dead on a tree, buried in a tomb. Hope gone. Dreams dead in the tomb with Him. Resurrection seems impossible, a wishful thought. In these times though, we can still worship. We can still proclaim Hosanna in the Highest!

And we can move through the shadows of the week, the darkness of Good Friday to the light and hope of Resurrection Sunday! In those hard days while tears may fall, we will find strength through our Lord to let our song, our praise rise to Jesus, King of Kings.

Though the tears may fall, my song will rise
My song will rise to You
Though my heart may fail, my song will rise
My song will rise to You
While there’s breath in my lungs
I will praise You Lord

In the dead of night, I’ll lift my eyes
I’ll lift my eyes to You
Though the waters rise, I’ll lift my eyes
I’ll lift my eyes to You
While there’s hope in this heart
I will praise You Lord

The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness I’ll dance
In the shadows I’ll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength

When I cannot see You with my eyes
Let faith arise to You
When I cannot feel Your hand in mine
Let faith arise to You
God of mercy and love
I will praise You Lord

How You shine with glory, Lord of light
I feel alive with You
Your presence now I come alive
I am alive with You
There is strength when I say
I will praise You Lord


acorns

The calendar decrees 1 March is the first day of Autumn. It’s a definitive, set time. The appearance of Autumn however has been much more gradual and subtle signs evident before the official start of Autumn.. Leaves on trees slowly starting to change colour and fall. Acorns falling from the tree and losing their lush vibrant green colour. Temperatures cooling.

An increase in age is officially celebrated on the date of birth but the signs of aging much more gradual and discreet. When did my 4 year old start looking like a school boy and lose the preschool chubbiness? And those grey hairs on me just keep on sneaking in!

Our faith too can have milestones – definitive days of celebration – day of baptism, confirmation or other notable occasions – the day healing received perhaps. But most of the time our faith is marked in the daily, less momentous exchanges of our spirit with God. Prayers, time spent in the Bible, times in worship. The key question is are we growing in faith, in intimacy with God? Is there evidence of a strengthening in our faith, a growth in our knowledge and relationship with God?

May this time of Lent be used to journey forward, to journey deeper with God.

 


lent

During the season of Lent, it’s tradition to “give up” something. To fast from a particular food or activity. Coffee perhaps (eek!)? Maybe a favourite television programme or hobby. It’s about making space, making more room for God in our sometimes cluttered lives. The focus isn’t on what we’re giving up but what we’re making room for. As we stop ourselves from ordering the coffee or sitting down to watch that programme, we not meant to mourn what we’re missing out on but to take the time – even those few precious moments to think on Jesus.

Giving up something creates more room for more of God in our lives.

As Lisa Bevere wrote “fasting is more about turning your soul toward God than denying your soul things.”

As we journey towards Easter it’s about making room, recalibrating our hearts towards Jesus and the revelation of what He did for us.

 


hand

Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the waters
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea

Unexpectedly, during Church, the song “Put your hand in the hand” dropped into my mind. A song I haven’t heard or sung for many years. But as I began to sing the lyrics of this song, I realised the message in it is still pertinent for me today.

My 4 year old still takes my hand as we walk to Kindy, and today my hand stopped him falling as his slipped on the footpath. There’s reassurance and safety for him when his hand is in mine. There’s an intimacy and closeness that comes when we hold hands. The same goes for us – when our hand is in the Lord’s hand, there’s reassurance and protection for us too. There’s comfort, there is care. And more than what I can provide for my son by taking his hand, when we put our hand in God’s hand, we are putting our hand in the hand of the God of miracles. The one who calmed the sea. The one whose outstretched hand healed the leper. And the one whose hands were pierced for you and me – for our sin, for our sickness and to bring us peace.

“But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)



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