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Showing posts from April, 2011

Women Find the Empty Tomb (2)

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The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord's angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. The angel looked as bright as lightening, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead. The angel said to the women, "Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. He isn't here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where the body was lying. Matthew 28;1-6 CEV

Finding Jesus' burial place with no body present would not have been a good thing. Those crucified were cursed, according to Deuteronomy 21:23. The humiliation was further "perfected" by Roman armies when the executed were refused burial. To be denied any possibility of a burial would have been the final insult. Finding the tomb empt…

Jesus Rises from the Dead (1)

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The angel of the Lord said to the women: "Do not be afraid! I know you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for He has been raised just as He said." Matthew 28:5b-6a.
Do you find it interesting that, even though no one saw the central event of our faith, we, like the apostles, are still invited to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? It's an invitation to trust and rely on God's love, grace and faithfulness.

"The desire for certitude is an obstacle to launching full sail on the ocean of trust," wrote Thomas Keating. For anxious, terror-struck disciples not knowing how Jesus left the tomb, the only way forward is to consent not to know, to trust the words of God's messenger. The voices are many who declare otherwise. Our program for security seeks an end to mystery and unknowing. As the gospel Easter song declares we indeed like the idea of "all fear" being gone. But is that the measure of our spiritual life? I hope n…

Enrich Your Easter with the Stations of Light

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The Stations of the Resurrection is a timely devotional tool for the Easter season:
First Station
Jesus Rises from the Dead (Matthew 28:5-6)
Second Station
Women Find the Empty Tomb (Matthew 28:1-6)
Third StationThe Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:16)
Fourth StationMary Magdalene Proclaims the Resurrection to the Apostles (John 20:18)
Fifth StationThe Risen Lord Appears on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27)
Sixth StationThe Risen Lord is Recognized in the Breaking of the Bread (Luke 24:28-32)
Seventh StationThe Risen Lord Appears to the Disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:35-39)
Eighth StationThe Risen Lord Gives the Disciples the Power to Forgive (John 20-22-23a)
Ninth StationThe Risen Lord Strengthens the Faith of Thomas (John 20:24-29)
Tenth StationThe Risen Lord Says to Peter, "Feed My Sheep!" (John 21:15-17)
Eleventh StationThe Risen Lord Sends the Disciples into the Whole World (Matthew 28:16-20)
Twelfth StationThe Risen Lord Ascends into Heaven (Acts 1:9-11)

Let's stop using Jesus's name to hurt others

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I find the "Statement on Wesleyan/Methodist Witness in Islamic and Christian Cultures" from the World Methodist Council, 2004, very helpful. It states,

Wesleyan/Methodist Christians are called by God, first, to lovingly accept Muslim brothers and sisters as persons of faith; second, to stand firm against violence and hatred in all its forms; third, to stand with persons who are being persecuted and are suffering for their faith; and fourth, trusting in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to share with all persons, including Muslims, the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through our words, deeds and signs by the power of the Holy Spirit, and invite them into life-changing relationships with God through Christ.
You can find the complete copy here.
Christ, have mercy on all of us who use and abuse your name to hurt or belittle others. Forgive us for what we do not know. Forgive us for what we knowingly do.
Holy Spirit, restrain us from doing harm with our words…