Today is the day after Good Friday. It is the last day in Lent. In history, early Christians would be in hiding and mourning the death of Christ. Persons were frightened that their association with and or love for Jesus would mean a soon coming torturous death. Homes are barricaded and the disciples are afraid. Speech and regional accents expose those who perhaps could have been or were friends of Jesus. "Who is next?, some thought. What if he really wasn't the Son of God. Fear and doubt paralyzed and tortured them. The Mary's are weeping. The disciples are hiding? The enemies of Jesus are rejoicing and Jesus is waiting for the third day.
The third day is coming. May God keep us while we anticipate the resurrection of the Christ anew in our hearts and minds. Thanks be to God. Amen.
May this blog post find you well. Today is Good Friday. It commemorates the day when Jesus (God) died. Time revolves around this date. We are because God is. God in Christ is dead. The hope of the world is hanging on the cross between two sinners. One sinner identifies him as the Son of a God and is offered a place with God in paradise. The other person denies him to his death. The crowd, perhaps the same ones who cried out Hosanna earlier in the week, exclaimed "crucify him." They chose to release Jesus Barabbus (which literally means "son of the Father) instead of Jesus, the Christ (The Son of God). Those closest to these crosses, the three Mary's--Mary The Mother of Jesus, Mary (The maternal aunt of Jesus) and Mary Magdalene--are there along with the beloved disciple (perhaps John). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, Pharisees converted by Jesus, are coming to properly bury Jesus' body. The darkest day has come. The prophecy has been fulfilled. The lamb is slain for the sins of the world. However while on this cross, Jesus still has the time to say:
What kind of love is this? Love that is able to worship God even in the midst of suffering, witness about the saving grace of God (the relational concern he has for the grieving, human thirst, the power of God) even when he could have saved his breath for himself, and the willful release his life for the lives of others.
Praise God. Praise God. Praise God....Amen!
Today is Holy Thursday otherwise known as Maundy Thursday. The term Maundy is derived from the Latin term Mandatum which means commandment (taken from Jesus' words to his disciples translated into Latin where Jesus states, "A new commandment (Mandatum) I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34).
Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus' Footwashing of the Disciples Feet and The Last Supper where The Institution of The Great Thanksgiving (also known as Holy Communion/The Eucharist) as recorded in John 13:1-17, 34 occurs.
So now, why is this day significant or important for us? It is another day of thanksgiving and praise unto God for God's unconditional love, unwavering faith, unbiased humility and uncompromising character. Jesus, fully human and fully divine, found the time to wash filthy dirty feet. Jesus took the time to share a final meal with his friends. Jesus thanked God even with Judas at the table and Calvary imminent. Because of Jesus' example, we understand what true servant leadership is--a courageous yet humble form of love in action leading persons into a deeper understanding of God's love and will for all humanity. This love is not always convenient or comfortable. This kind of love is not easily distracted or disengaged. It doesn't come with a price tag and is not wooed by fame or fortune. This kind of love stays the course. It is resilient. It counts the cost and determines that you and I are priceless--our salvation is worth temporary inconvenience (shame and suffering).
Beloved, in this 38th day in Lent, may you/me/we wash more feet (get involved in service/work that renews, refreshes or restores lives). May you also experience the hands of the Christ washing your feet and your pains away. Sit at the table with Jesus today. See Judas and know that (s)he can not stop your mission. Love him/her. See the others and know that they are human agents created and loved by God. Jesus showed us the way of courageous love. It is wise and the only love that can get us to our destiny--new life.
Let us pray,
God, we love you and we thank You for Your unwavering love. Make us more like You and help us to wash more feet--especially the feet of those who are grieving and those who feel worn-out this day. Thank you for the refreshing of Your Holy Spirit! In Jesus' Name, we pray. So be it!
Welcome to this new day filled with holy expectation and anticipation. We expect supernatural things to happen while we eagerly anticipate the final act of God on Calvary. We are drawing closer to Good Friday and the greatest act of love ever. What is on your mind today? It is important for us to keep God and God's love for humanity as the center of our attention.For many this is Spring Break. So, there are many distractions. But, wherever you are--please pause for a few moments and say, "Lord, I thank you for your acts of love--your love is amazing."
In this 37th day in Lent, may these words encourage you to continue the journey with Christ...
Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world. (John 17:1-6, The Message)
May we come to know God anew this day. May we complete all that God has asked of us. May we glorify God in all that we endeavor. May we stay the mission and boldly proclaim God's Name.
Let us pray,
God, let your words penetrate and transform our hearts and minds today so that we might wholly understand the depth of Your love for humanity. Keep us near you and faithful in following Your Holy Word.We love You with a never ending love. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.
This day is a gift from God. It is filled with the mercy and comfort needed to endure any test. Brace yourself, Good Friday is coming and so is the Third Day (the day of resurrection). However, it is important for us to live in this space. What happened on the Tuesday before the crucifixion? It is quite difficult to exactly tell the story. Yet, we know that Jesus experienced a series of temptations and challenges; and, he shared many parables and woes. Jesus' time on earth as The Incarnate one was drawing to a close. He greatly emphasized the kingdom of God, the resurrection, the power of the Word of God and the active role God's Word plays in eternity. Jesus shared, "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall stand forever" (Matthew 24:35). What do these words mean to you? The Word of God in you is activated by the spoken creative Word of God. The Word of God shall never pass away and is able to respond to the voice of God despite your condition or state. May our spiritual ears be attentive to all that God is saying to us, even now. Heal, save and deliver us by the power of Your Holy Word.
Let us pray,
Holy One, we journey alongside You as You make Your way to Calvary. Speak Lord. We are waiting on You... In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.