An Easter Meditation ~ Love

Reflects my thoughts for Maundy Thursday into Good Friday ~

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And the darkness and horror and heartbreak dragged on through Friday. Most thought when Jesus died on the cross ~ it was over. But some parts of creation watched. And waited ~

After the darkness … and the watching … The Light burst forth. And an angel said to the women, “He is not here: for he is risen as he said.” ~ Matthew 28:6

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

And Easter morning “Arise, My Love” was sung … and I was undone. Undone by clearly hearing The Father’s heart bursting with love for The Son when He says:

“Arise, My Love, the grave no longer has a hold on you.”

Who can resist such a heart full of love expressed so tenderly? Not me. I wept most of the day, because that same heart full of love is also for me. And for you.

This song, decades old, is by Newsong. I’d never heard it. Have you? I’ve listened to a number of versions on youtube since then. Some with videos; some with only singers. The simple version I heard Easter Sunday at Shadow Mountain Community Church still seems the most beautiful rendition. You can listen to it if you’d like by accessing the church’s archives for a few weeks. “Arise, My Love” can be heard at 23:30 if you don’t have time or inclination to listen to the entire service. (But Pastor Jeremiah is well worth listening to. :-) ) May you know and feel that love, and the peace of the baby rabbit ~ waiting.

Paths cross. Roads converge. Events collide.

That’s what happens Under the Lamppost at the intersection of Our Plans & God’s Purposes. And it happens today, April 3, 2015. A Friday, but a very special one.

How it crept up on me without my noticing, I cannot say. But when I wakened to something, it struck me dumb.

This evening at dusk begins Passover, the Jewish holy day commemorating the story of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.

You may remember the ten plagues God sent to urge Pharaoh to release the Hebrews, the tenth one leading to the name of this holiday. The Angel of Death visited Egypt, taking the firstborn of every family and also of the animals. BUT …

God commanded Moses to have the Hebrews kill an unblemished sheep and daub some of its blood on the doorposts of their homes as a sign of their faith. When done, the Angel of Death PASSED OVER each of those homes and the firstborn was not taken.

The shed blood of the lamb protected them.

Hundreds of years later, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples, just hours before he was betrayed, faced false accusers, mocked, beaten, and hung on a cross. But the nails didn’t hold Him there. He chose to stay because the shed blood of Jesus, The Lamb of God, is protection for all people from paying the price for sin.

On Good Friday we remember Jesus’ death on the cross. Pierced by a spear, His blood dripped on the cross and ground.

I cannot take my eyes and mind off the intersection of these two historical incidents. Over a millennium apart, they are inextricably linked. Parts of a whole. And how often are they brought together in the modern day to display their incredible connection? Friday afternoon we will remember the Passover Lamb nailed to the cross to save us and Friday evening will be the commemoration of the Passover lamb’s spilled blood protecting every family who in faith claimed its protection and displayed it on their doorposts.

 

PS How often do these to holidays converge? About twice every ten years.

Photo credits: Passover clip artBlood on doorpostJesus & disciples, Eve of cross Lucado quote – Mary Kay Moody, 2014

 

Finding the Christ in Christmas

Early in our marriage Ed navigated job transfers and down-sizing—both of the company and salary. We developed the habit of purchasing our Christmas gifts throughout the year, and when December rolled around we had no need to shop. But we’d spend a date night sipping hot chocolate and strolling through shopping areas enjoying the decorations. Years later we shifted to a big shopping mall. But nowadays, it seems walking the aisles of stores at Christmas is more endurance test than enjoyment. Do you find it that way too? 

Well, the next time you’re out and about during the Christmas season, or watching television and get bombarded with commercials, try this. Look at individual decorations and try to see the spiritual connections they might make. A few examples–

Stars

Easy. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea … there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.’”  Matthew 2:1-2

“I Jesus … am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16

Candles, Lights

“Then spake Jesus … ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’”  John 8:12

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