Good Friday

Today for many Christians they acknowledge the death of Jesus on the cross but fail to see the saving grace that the cross offers to each of us. The revelation of God through this death, the brutal crucifixion, is our reminder that through an unbelievable level of pain comes an opportunity for us to really see God.

By suffering with Jesus and seeing our own pain we rise again to a better life with God. Bearing the pain is the ultimate truth of our relationship with God. Jesus died for us on the cross but he died on many levels and we can find God through this death in many ways. That is the beauty of the scriptures and the various gospels we have to ponder. Each writer shares with us a different way to be present with the eyewitnesses of that day.

The re-discovering of the events of Good Friday and pondering this death on this day is a perennial event (N.T. Wright: The Challenge of Easter). With each layer unveiled one can see more clearly that Jesus is God and faithfully celebrate the empty tomb.

Bring yourself to the foot of the cross and see it in all your pain. Bring your ego and your stresses to the foot of the cross and let Jesus bear it for you. In this, the finding of your personal relationship with Jesus, you will celebrate the empty tomb and the resurrection of God in your life. This is a blessed day.

Later on Good Friday....

I just returned from the morning service where we shared in the loss and death of Jesus on the cross. As we bear our burdens and bring them to the cross it is there we find Jesus in his fullest. As he suffers for us on our behalf, we are reminded why he died on the cross for us. We can better understand through the Good Friday experience what it means that he "died for our sins". We can witness and leave our burdens there as we wait on Saturday for the Risen Lord to return to us in his divinity and bringing to us God's love.

It is through my study of scripture, theologically thinking it through, sharing it with others through means like this blog and my own sharing of God's love that I better understand God and the presence of God in my life. Today many others brought themselves to the cross and as we meet on Sunday morning to celebrate we will do so with glad hearts and a lighter load!


5:00 AM revelations ...

Open the doors for me O God as I walk through
this life with you by my side.

For the past hour or so I have been tossing and turning in my bed. Streams of data being downloaded into my brain is keeping me awake. Is it God talking to me or just my own stress? I am thinking this is what a computer must feel like upon us pressing the power button and firing that processor up. The internet automatically connects and all the software comes alive spidering out into cyberspace to check for the latest and the greatest updates. I do not need to tell any of you that we live in a constant age of new information at our fingertips. Just in the evening hours I was preparing a presentation for the service I enjoy monthly at a senior's home, and, upon request, instantly my daughter sent me a photo I needed during the 30 second break in her online TV watching. As I now sit in the semi-darkness, one light burning at the edge of my desk, kitty taking her usual position, which is to curl up in the tossed back duvet, I await the coming of the dawn. The moment when the light of the sun will begin to illumine the darkened sky. Drinking my tea, I wonder is this how our mind works as well? All this in the light of my Anne of Green Gables marathon; two worlds which seem so far apart.

It is a time in the Christian year when we are pondering the darkness of the crucifixion. Asking the hard questions. Do I believe in what the gospels have recorded? What does it all mean? What is it about scripture that keeps me coming back for more? Every year, as a Christian, I revisit the depths of my faith and peel back another layer of myself.

Last week I wrote the final exam for the course I took at Huron College this winter. The course was called, "Interpreting the Qur'an" and it was one of the best courses I have ever taken. After this study I see the Bible in a new light, having studied our Lord Jesus Christ in a different context and it has opened my eyes so that I might see. Sacred scripture is sacred scripture and it all is relevant in our world. As I ponder about the final exam I have come to realize my final mark means nothing to me. I gleaned more than I ever could have imagined by simply allowing myself to be lead where I had not gone before. It was God driven and the revelations of Godself into my life through this study is simply amazing. I have spent over 50 years hearing about the Bible and reading scripture, and after one semester of Qur'anic study my senses are more keenly aware of my deeply embedded love for Christianity and a stronger faith in a living God.

The sun must be just below the horizon, there is no light in the sky at this moment but I can hear the robins beginning their day. Chirping and singing outside my window calling to me to say, "Good morning, the sun shall rise again" ... as I listen and ponder my Palm Sunday resources I listen to the robin, God's messenger, that reminds us, "The Son shall rise again; get up, get up and pick up your life, I am here for you!"

Blessings to all of you who may be in darkness. May you know that God has revealed Godself to us yet again in the greatness of Easter. The Son shall rise again to bring us light and life. Ask and the doors shall be opened for you. Walk knowing there is hope in all darkness just before the dawn.


Heaven or Hell?

Do you know where you are going? Gee I sure don't. Actually I do not believe that heaven or hell are places we go after death, I think we live them here on earth. The early Christians looked at the big yellow thing in the sky and wondered where it went at night. They also thought the world was flat and that that women were property, all reflected in the Bible as cultural and contextual. So where does that leave us in a 21st century world?

Rob Bell has a new book, Love Wins of which I am going to read and would enjoy doing a book study with a group of people. We can do this online through this blog should there be interest. Wrestling with concepts such as this bring us closer to God and helps us to understand Jesus and the biblical text.

Have a look at Rob Bell and please comment telling me your thoughts.

LOVE WINS. - Available March 15th from Rob Bell on Vimeo.


The signs of spring

As I sit under the skylight in the part of the room I call my office, I am blessed with this sun on my shoulder. It feels warm like the hand of God reminding me that the sun always comes out even after the darkest hours.

I have been reading and re-reading the Presbyterian Record this month because the articles all seem to speak to my heart. I am especially warmed by Elleana Hoekstra's journal article about her work as a midwife in Malawi. Her father, Rev. Ed Hoekstra and her mother Jackie have been there for three years ministering in the Blantyre area. This real journal brings to life what it means to resurrect Christ to all people. Take the time to have a read.


It is also the most significant season for the church. Lent and Easter take us to the heart of our beliefs and can sometimes be a time where we question our faith and understanding of the resurrection.


Giggy Confusion: Embracing the meaning of the resurrection speaks to the mystery of it all. I find such wisdom in the quote "Like gazing at the sun, we are better not to look directly at the resurrection to think that we can solve it. Instead look around the edges." What does it mean to look a the edges of the resurrection? How can we bring the hope in the empty tomb to every person's life? That is a deep and probing question. I believe first we have to reconcile in ourselves what it means and be open to hear all possibilities. It is through absolutes that we are ridged and take the risk of being broken or at odds with others in this question.

Being our authentic and true selves we reconcile what the empty tomb means for us and it is in looking at the edges that we have enough mystery to allow for all mysteries to unfold.

Let God be that hand of sun on your shoulder guiding you to better understand the empty tomb and the significance of resurrection in your life. This week Ezekiel was in a valley of dry bones .... how can you put flesh on the bones of your life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ?