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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Easter Hangover

This is the first week after Easter. Easter is the day that we celebrate Resurrection, victory over death, and the completion of the possibly of our redemption through Christ.  For the season of Lent we have been talking about questions, and how questioning our faith can lead us to deeper understanding.

I for one, am not always satisfied with chalking things up to mystery or our inability as humans to understand. I know we have to accept mystery, but I like to understand at least in some small way what I am experiencing.  On the same side I am not a person that can sit down and read thick tomes about Theology without being bored, or falling asleep. But I really and truly learn by doing and experiencing things, I am a hands on kind of person. This is another reason that I identify so readily with Doubting Thomas from the Gospels.

But this week is an interesting week to place ourselves in the shoes of the disciples.  Ever had an absolutely unbelievable day? One where there is no possible anything weirder or better could happen.  Well just imagine the first Easter Sunday, the disciples and the women (as mentioned in the Bible) go to give Jesus body proper rites for burial and you meet an angel.  This angel tells you that Jesus is no longer dead, but is once again alive and well. WOW! I could imagine that news completely throwing off the plans for the rest of the disciple’s day.

This feeling you get over one enormous decision only to get blindsided by something happening that negated that decision and the next three made.  It must have felt like completely losing touch with reality and really not knowing which end of the rabbit hole was up. I think that is the way we need to feel on Good Friday, but God says we need to feel that way again on Easter Sunday.  We need the joy, and we need the miracle, but we need to not know where to go because we need to be dependent upon God.

That is the Easter Hangover feeling, that we have no where to go and we do not know what to do. But that feeling is to lead us back to God and to make us remember that we are not to be the ones in charge, that is God’s place.  On this Easter Tuesday I hope that you feel disoriented and have no idea which way to turn so that we can all turn back to God.  His direction is a lot better than any we could choose for ourselves.

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Holy Week

This week is an incredible week for people of the Christian faith, the week we celebrate Jesus’ suffering death and resurrection to atone for our sins.  Here at Mulberry we are having services every day at noon and fellowship over food afterward each day.  This is a week that those of us who are in ministry often get lost in.

There is so much to do to prepare for the celebration of Sunday, and add on top of that the end of a very busy season within the church.  The time of Lent is capped off with the most joyous celebration of the church.  The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, we have our Good Friday where we are given the gift of salvation through sacrifice, and Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ conquering death on our behalf.

I have written before about rest, and the taking of time for restoration for self and to truly take sabbath. I have also admitted that I am one of the worst at this.  This week I am trying again to stop and smell the roses of this week, no matter how harsh and hurtful they may be.  I am doing this so that I can attempt to truly celebrate on Easter Sunday the amazing gift we have all been given.

But even today a relatively relaxed day for me here at the office and at the church I found my mind wandering during time set apart for God.  This is so disturbing to me to sit and try to focus and fail miserably, especially this week.  But how many of us do this on a daily basis. We get to the end of the day and we cannot turn our minds off.  Our minds get so full of the stuff of life that we cannot turn it off and rest, even at the best of times.

This Easter week I am striving on an invitation to enter into the story and truly experience the emotions and the story that we are living this week. I challenge you to try to do this too. Strive for more simplicity this week, strive to move your life in a direction that increases your dependence upon God, and decreases the self. Good luck, God Bless, and thank God for Easter!

 
 

Changes

This week we will be studying the story of Lazarus found in John 11:1-45, and this story is extremely unusual in the gospels. This is the miracle of miracles, the most unusual of his healings.  Of course it has been mentioned many times that Lazarus died again, but he went through changes that we cannot imagine.

First off he got incredibly sick and died, was dead for four days, and THEN Jesus comes to town and raises him back to life. Wow. I mean how is that for life changes, makes a lot of the things I deal with daily seem pretty insignificant.  The old adage holds true, “the more things change the more things stay the same,” but not for Lazarus.

How we deal with change in our lives is a statement to our character, but I think Lazarus and his sisters must have gotten a star in his crown for dealing with all of this drama. Jesus waited before he came, and decided to raise Lazarus from the dead. I think Lazarus probably had a smile on his face for the rest of his life. Any time someone would ask him how we was, he’d look at them with all the seriousness he could muster and say, “it’s better than being dead…”

Of course there are some questions that I would like to ask Lazarus if I would have had the chance. What was it like? would be way up at the top of the list for me.  I would wonder how it felt to die and what God really looked like. I don’t Lazarus would answer me truthfully, he would have way too much humor for that.

We are in a season of changes, spring takes the earth from dormant and dead looking to verdant and bustling. That is why this story is so interest at this time because we see the changes, and I imagine the good humor shone by Lazarus in receiving a miracle. Of course it brought attention for the rest of his life, “that’s the guy Jesus raised from the dead.” But I am sure that it filled Lazarus with a joy and verve for life unmatched around him. We should take this example to lead us in ways of dealing with change and stress in a more gracious way.