Special days

Happy Easter to you!

I’ve spent mine with family, celebrated my mother in law’s birthday, watched the kids do three separate Easter egg hunts and played guitar in two church services. It’s been good.

I’d have to say my favorite part though was looking out from the stage this morning to see my 13 year old daughter in church, singing along in worship.

She declared herself agnostic last year and hasn’t come to church in a long time, but our deal was that she would come on holidays and other special occasions. This has been hard for me as I’ve started seminary, and essentially committed to a life of serving Christ as a vocation, which needs a family’s support.

While I’m not going to jump the gun and declare victory over her return to Christianity, this was an encouraging sign and made this day even more special.

Praying that everyone had a great day celebrating the resurrection 🙂

religious

Jesus gets me

It’s the beginning of Holy Week.

Not having a history in a liturgical church or a current dedication to a traditional denominational practice (I’m more of a contemporary style worshiper), I’ve never really delved into the meaning of Holy Week.

I’ve read the verses, and I understand what’s going on. Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday; the accusation, arrest and trial before Pilate that led to the crucifixion that we recognize on Good Friday and Christ’s resurrection on Easter that is the basis of my faith.

Is that it? Is that knowledge sufficient to me as a Christian?

As Jesus’ ministry on Earth is coming to an end, and He is riding into Bethany to the sound of shouts of Hosanna, He knows that in the background there are those who are plotting His destruction.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour.” John 12:27

His soul was troubled.

I know that feeling, and it’s terrible. The fact that Jesus knew that the same people who were cheering for Him now would soon be calling for His execution must have made His stomach turn. Thinking about the Pharisees plotting and conniving behind the scenes had to be eating at His thoughts. The fact that He would soon be suffering a painful death would have been stealing His sleep.

Jesus never waivers from His path; His perfect love enables Him to be our perfect Savior. But we know that He was completely human as well as divine, and as a human His soul was troubled and His humanity would have reacted to the stress He was under.

In considering all of this, I feel a different kind of closeness to Jesus. The knowledge that even His soul could be troubled, even though He always knew the right path, help me to know that He truly understands. My conflicts are often internal, and there are fewer examples of these struggles to draw inspiration from.

Jesus knows a troubled soul. It may be hard to explain to another person, but He knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Infinite possibilities

Why do we like New Year’s Day so much?

It’s not just the new year either; it’s new weeks, new homes, newly organized offices… anything that gives us the feeling of a clean slate.

I think we inherently know that we mess things up and we love the opportunity to start from scratch. It’s like a reset button that clears our mistakes and allows us try to do better.

I came across these verses this morning and thought them appropriate for the start of another year:

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord. Say to him, ‘Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises.'”
Hosea 14:1-2

We come back. We ask for His grace as we begin again. We move forward in hope.

A favorite is new

I just wanted to share my favorite Christmas song, in a version that’s new to me this year. I know it’s several years old, but I just heard David Crowder sing it a couple of weeks ago for the first time and I love it.

Hallelujah.

Tis the Season for Christians to be even more awkward

Am I the only one who rolls their eyes when these posts scroll by in their feeds?

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Obviously there are plenty of people who find these cute, funny or meaningful judging by the frequency with which they show up, but they just come off as dorky to me.

I love Jesus, I love Christmas and I love memes. Maybe there’s a way to combine those things in a way that isn’t cheesy?

I’ll think on that 😉