A Quiet Day

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2

A quiet day. Jesus is in the tomb. It is all over. His body was taken down and wrapped for burial. On this day he is gone. Take time on Holy Saturday to pause and think about what sort of day it was for the disciples.

Prayer: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Taize

 

Don’t CHOOSE to sin


When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.                                                  Frank Sinatra

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 It has always puzzled me that some people think it is fine to do wrong because they can be absolved of it. This is wrong thinking. The things we confess to God and ask for forgiveness should be slip ups. Choosing to commit sinful acts because we can be forgiven is not how God expects us to behave. His forgiveness does not give us permission to choose to sin.

Prayer: God of grace, remind us we must choose the right path. We cannot choose wrong because of his forgiveness. It is a gift of grace when we stumble not a get out of jail free card. Help us to remember this. AMEN

See into heaven

Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher

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 When our tears come they usually flow from grief or pain. They flow for ourselves and sometimes for someone else. Tears pull us from our routine day-today existence. Whatever caused them has stopped us in our tracks. We step back from the ordinary and frequently reach out to God for help. So they do cause us to see into heaven and know that God is there. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to let your tears flow.

Prayer: Thank you, God for being our help and strength. Remind us that Jesus wept. Amen

 

We did it!

 Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.

John Stott

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 For many years we Christians blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. It was easier to do this than to accept that had we lived in his time and place we could have been a party to his death. We are not blameless even now. We kill him again each time we don’t acknowledge that was are Christians, each time that we hurt someone else or don’t do something the we know is right. We kill him little by little.

Prayer: God of forgiveness, we are sinful people and we fall off the path all the time. Help us to think before we act. Amen

 

 

Take up your cross

If He laid down His life for us, is it not the least we can do to lay down ours for Him? If He bore the cross and died on it for me, ought I not to be willing to take it up for him?                   Dwight Lyman Moody

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What does it mean to “take up the cross?”  He adds “and follow me.” Am I really following him? He loved and related to all people. He ate with tax collectors (who were hated by the people); did not rebuke a woman who was unclean for touching him. He went against the grain for his time. How are we doing?

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, so many are outcast s in our own time. Even naming them can set us off. Help us to follow you more closely and learn to love even the people we now shun. Amen

 

You don’t have to know the result

I think this is the perfect time to center on a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I am sure that Christ had no plan to be the most important person the world has ever known. His plan was to teach us about his father and how to live our lives. Each of us has a choice each day to live as Christ taught us. What is right is always the thing to do. We don’t know what the impact of that choice will be. It doesn’t matter.

Seek forgiveness

Psalm 32:3-5

While I kept silence, my body wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up[a] as by the heat of summer. 

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

seek forgiveness

We cannot hide from God. When we do the burden of our sins can overcome us. We have to confess the sins that God already knows. Then the weight of them can be lifted away. Our sins can be forgiven. Thank God!

Compassionate God, we are so blessed that your son died for our sins. We can be forgiven. AMEN

The road less traveled

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The road that Christ followed is not an easy one. The disciples thought they could when asking him to sit at his right and left hand. They later found it was not easy. To choose this path is scary and difficult but it is the right one.

All knowing God, you sent your son to show us what to do. Help us to tread that difficult path. AMEN

Turn the other cheek

“An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” ~Mahatma Gandhi

This is an oft quoted piece from the Bible found in Exodus and in Matthew 5 after the beatitudes. The meaning is different that what we usually think. It is about retaliation but calls for only an eye to be taken for an eye. No more. In Matthew Jesus tells us what we really need to do.

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Matthew 5: 38-42

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

Loving Lord, you call us to let go of our anger and put revenge aside. Help us to do so. AMEN