Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
“Those who sow in tears sing as they reap.
They go out, they go out, full of tears, carrying seed for the sowing;
They come back, they come back, full of song, carrying their sheaves.”
It is true that many times tears are required for anything good to happen.
In Mark 9, we have a father bringing his demon possessed son to Jesus for healing. The encounter with Jesus ends in the father crying out with tears, “Lord, I believe...” Often tears are required before we believe and trust God.
In Luke 7, a woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears born out of so much love for the Master. Often we love so much that we shed tears and reap the joy that comes.
In Hebrews 5, Paul says that Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane pleaded with tears and agony of soul. Out of these tears came my salvation. Out of these tears, Jesus showed me that He loved me more than Himself and gave His life for me.
In this world, we will sow with tears as we “love one another, as Christ has loved us.” As we sow, Jesus has put a song in our heart because we have a harvest to look forward to.
At the harvest, when Jesus comes back, there will no longer be a requirement for tears:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain...'' (Revelation 21:4)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Last October, my wife and I visited Egypt and Jordan for several weeks. There we saw many people riding donkeys or donkeys pulling small carts in the countryside and even in Cairo itself. The donkeys were very small and always looked over-burdened with the people and loads they were carrying. They looked gentle and willing to serve as required without protest.
Jesus, as he approached the cross, had an appointment with a donkey. As prophesied in the Old Testament (Zech. 9:9), the Messiah as King was to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. The Messiah was also prophesied in Isaiah to come as a suffering servant. Furthermore many theologians believe the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King was exactly prophesied by Daniel (69 weeks of years) when counted from the commandment to rebuild the temple in Nehemiah’s time.
Because they were aware of the Old Testament prophesies, the Jewish people of Jesus’ day expected the Messiah to come during their lifetimes. Somehow they forgot the Messiah was to come on a donkey, be a servant to the people, and reign as King in their hearts.
As I think about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and the expectations of the Jewish people, I wonder what my expectation is of the King. I also wonder when Jesus has an appointment with me if I, like the donkey, am willing to accept my burdens with gentleness, serve without protest, and come when the Master says “I have need of thee.”
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The best assurance that we’ll keep listening to the church is our regular participation in the Eucharist. - Henri Nouwen, p. 143.
The ushers gesture and some seem startled, surprised that it is time to stand. No matter how many times we’ve done this, there is still uncertainty. Already time? Isn’t there something else we need to do first?
Give her your grace, Lord. Let her know that she belongs to you and to us and is welcome at this table.
Parents carry a squirming toddler; they wear grim smiles, shushing as they stand in line.
Abba, Father, may your delight in this child be contagious. May we all join in your love for this family.
A child whispers loudly; those nearby chuckle. “But it tasted like juice.”
Thank you, Lord, for the joy of being together.
Barbara walks alone, slowly raises hands once again.
Abba, Father, she looks so small without Tom standing with her. Surround her with your love, with your presence, your peace. You don't forget her; neither will we. Help us to surround her with your love.
This is my body.