Category Archives: Uncategorized
This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin. As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law. Luke 23:54-56
Holy Saturday. The day Jesus was completely dead.
One of the concepts that I keep coming across this year is hope. The first emphasis of Advent is Hope. Since then, hope has continued to show up in conversations, books, and scripture studies. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to have hope, or to be hopeless.
In thinking about today, I was struck with the gravity of hopelessness that the friends of Jesus must have experienced on this day… the day after Jesus is buried. All of their hope for their future had been wrapped up in this man. Many of them really believed he was the only hope for their lives and their nation. He was the answer to their freedom. He was the one bringing about the kingdom of heaven. He was it!
But then he was dead.
Hope was dead.
Yet, if they had paid closer attention, they would have realized what was going on… Jesus told them this would happen (Luke 18:31-34). There was a greater plan that went even beyond that for which they could hope. Jesus had not actually left them without hope!
But Saturday still happened- I can’t imagine a day on which contrast between hope and hopeless was ever greater. In some ways, I believe I need Saturday to really understand Sunday. The hope that is resurrected on Sunday is made so much more significant because of Saturday! So while I am reminded what life could be like without hope, I am also encouraged to realize that God does not ever leave us without hope. Even on the worst day ever, there was still a glimmer of hope.
What can I do with my sins except humbly confess them, and weep for them…? Mercifully hear me, I beseech you, O my God, while I am in your presence.
All my sins greatly displease me, I will never commit them any more….
Forgive me, O my God, forgive me my sins for your holy Name; save my soul, which you have redeemed with your precious blood….
I found this prayer of repentance in The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kepmis. It impressed me as a very appropriate prayer for the season of Lent.
There is a book you should check out. It’s called Public Jesus: Exposing the Nature of God in Your Community. It is a great read and it just came out in the Kendle edition. It’s published by The House Studio. A publishing group who is turning out some great resources for small group and personal studies. Check out some more of their things on at their site.
I’m sitting in my office and I can hear a guy talking to our youth pastor about his journey. Before you think I’m a horrible person eavesdropping on a conversation- this guy loves to share his story and he’s actually shared it with me about 4 different times. And chances are if you were here, he would share his story with you too. Every time I hear his story I have to smile.
This guy is in his early 20’s and has already lived more “life” than anyone in his 20’s should have to live. He got hooked on drugs and alcohol at an early age. Not really sure what his choice of drug was, but the effects are evident.
Here is the amazing part of the story though. He has the same conversation with almost everyone, and he always starts it: “Hey man, how ya doing?” Good, and how are you? “I’m great- six months clean now.” Wow, that is awesome! “Yeah, just relying on God and hanging around the church.”
Today he was talking with the youth pastor about how he tried to get clean before but it did not work. He didn’t have people around him to support him. These days he hangs around our worship pastor a lot.
The worship pastor has been a huge support to him. He allows the guy to call when he needs to and almost all the calls go like this: “Hey man!” Hi, what’s up? “Oh just wanted to see what you are up to.” I’m just at the office right now. What are you up to? “Oh not much, just feeling like I need to talk so I’m not tempted.” Okay, I’m glad you called then. “All right, man. Thanks. Talk to you later!” Bye. And that’s it.
But here is the thing: he knows someone is on his side. And it is motivating him. And the people are motivated by God’s love for his young man. They what God can do in his life and they are excited to see him willing to let God work. People around the church and his small group are excited to hear him each month progress. People are willing to listen to the same story every time they see him because it’s a story of victory and progress. But it’s also a story of process.
He’s not all the way out of the woods. He has a lot of battling he has to do every day. But he is on the journey. He is in the process. And he is so excited to talk about what God is doing in his life. He credits God to bringing people around him that are supporting him this time in staying clean.
His story has me thinking… We are all in some sort of process. We are all on our own journey. Some of us have more evident things that we are going through; some of us deal with issues that are more internal and not as noticeable to others. But we are all in a process. Hopefully we are allowing our process to draw us closer to Jesus. Hopefully we are allowing others to walk along side us in our process. We need others to help us get through the process. One of the most amazing blessings from Jesus is His family… We need each other so we can make it through.
So who are you walking with? Who do you call when you just need to check in? Are you being there for someone? Where are you at in your process?