Sunday, March 20, 2005

Happy Palm Sunday

Today marks the start of the Holy Week season when Jesus came through the streets of Jerusalem on the back of the donkey. It awaited him to use , a donkey reserved just for his use. The streets were crowded back then as the Jews lined the streets acclaiming Hosanna on the Highest. It was a pep rally atmosphere- almost like that of a sports team having won the national championship. Yet, these people spoke and cried out of the emotion of the moment. Only 6 days later, Jesus walked through those same streets with words in his memory of "Crucify Him."
This does not mark the best week in the life of Jesus in that it must have been very painful and horrific. But when Jesus arose from the tomb on Easter Morning, throngs were not around then. There were only a few faithful. Then the movement of Christianity would begin to flourish as the early believers lived in close proximity to one another and shared all that they had. And at pentecost, The Holy Spirit began to live within the believers and His kingdom began to take shape.
Just remember, even in the times of today, sharp contrasts in our lives exist. One moment people can be celebrating a joyous time and then another season can come of woe and then even another can come of triumph and joy =all in the same week. May these words bless the reader.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The land of the falling snow

Upon waking today, the snow glistened on the trees. It was a freshly fallen snow that makes several mornings of the winter a magical time for me. The snow gently covered the branches and had a serene quality to it. It was mostly fluff and had a very mushy texture to it. The warmth in the air had some of the snow falling from the trees and the water melted and ran alongside the ground.
This makes up for some of the very cold winter mornings that I spent waiting alongside the side of the cemetery for the bus. It is good to know that the end of the winter is near and we will be approaching the time of spring and summer when the days will be filled mostly with warmth. Then the beauty of that time will be the warmth of the air and birds singing and the honeysuckle and roses and forsythia blooming along the streets.
I remember growing up in Fairfield on Margemere during that kind of spring where the lush reds and pinks of the forsythias and the pinks and whites of the dogwoods lined our little dead end street. It was a very special place to be at that time of year.
It would be great to avoid the harshness of the winter season, but there is the balance of the seasons which God created so that anyone can have a vote on their favorite season and be happy about it. He alone created the times of the year. And He is the author of our lives who gives us seasons to live also.
May these words bless the reader.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Cow jumped over the moon

One summer evening in Maine, I looked forward to a BIG event. It was the eclipse of the moon by the sun. It was late at night when my parents went to bed and I thought I could spy on the activities of the solar system. I sat patiently looking out the tall picture window that led to the porch and meditated on the wonders of nature. I was expecting a huge bang or a big notice of the arrival of this eclipse. The moon slowly was being covered up in shadows and became darker by the minute. Finally the moon was completely covered by the sun.
I waited for a couple of hours -pacing quietly waiting for the moon to be uncovered. Nothing dramatic -just darkness. I went to bed later for a few hours of sleep-a little disappointed but having been given the chance to observe nature in action.
In the christian walk, the sun represents God and the moon represents sin. In God's way, He is very quiet in His cleansing of ourselves. There is no dramatic positioning of Himself in the midst of our lives. He came across as a gentle breeze to Elijah .
But God does come to us and eclipses our own lives to present us as holy to Himself. Not something that comes very easily, but it is something that is essential to the nature of discipleship.
In the end , I hope that when I look back on life, I will be grateful for those times of eclipse for I will know that God stayed up late long after I was asleep to make me more like Him.

Having a grateful heart

It is important for us to be thankful for the little things in life. We need to count our blessings for all that we have been given in this life. This morning I attended a men's breakfast at one of the local churches. The topic for this morning was encouragement, something very special to me.
When I was created by God, He placed within the gift of encouragement that I like to share with others. It is something that is found throughout scripture and needs to be appreciated more. Whether it is curled up for a nap by the warmth of the sun or having your name called at the gym for the arrival of my friend who kindly picked me up after making sure one of his friends made it home. God is that same way in life-putting people and circumstances in our lives to make sure that we make it safely home.
The other day on tv, a team of scientists worked together to help the whooping crane fly from Wisconsin to Florida for their annual migration in an effort to save their dwindling numbers. The pilot in a gliding plane guides the birds by following ahead and acting as the mother. This imprints it upon the cranes so that they take their journey themselves with their future generations.
This is the same way with our God in that He guides us in His invite to us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. It is the role of the church and its believers to help guide others onto that journey also known as discipleship. It takes time and takes a team, but the rewards are great in that it creates a self-sustaining church that reaches out better to others.
May these words bless the reader! Peace.