Tag Archives: Easter

Easter


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Song of the Month


It’s Monday after Easter! Woo hoo! In honor of Easter and all that it represents, I thought this song would be a good choice for the Song of the Month. Enjoy….

Newsboys: Savior of the World

God so loved, that He gave His son
To lay down His life for the sake of us
He bore the weight of our sin and shame
With a cry He said, It is finished

Christ the Lord overcame the darkness
He’s alive: death has been defeated

For He made us a way
by which we have been saved
He’s the Savior of the world
So we lift up a shout for his fame and renown
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Jesus, Savior of the world

We must spread the word of His soon return
To reclaim the world for His glory
Let the church now sing of this coming King
Crowned with majesty, our Redeemer

And He reigns, Ruler of the heavens
And His name is Jesus, the Messiah

For He made us a way
by which we have been saved
He’s the Savior of the world
So we lift up a shout for his fame and renown
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Jesus, Savior of the world

Christ the Lord overcame the darkness
He’s alive: death has been defeated
And He reigns, ruler of the heavens
And His name is Jesus, the Messiah

For He made us a way
by which we have been saved
He’s the Savior of the world
So we lift up a shout for his fame and renown
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Jesus, Savior of the world


Resurrection Sunday


Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.

Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.

“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

“Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

(John 20)


Closer to Easter


Exodus 34:28

We are just under two weeks from Easter! I am really looking forward to Easter. Not only for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, but I have to admit that I am ready for my lenten fast to be over. I have been learning a lot from this fast… especially from the looking forward to the completion! I did not expect to learn this much or be challenged at this level.

What about you? What have you been learning? I’ve asked this before, but really, what are you learning? How is this journey helping you prepare for the celebration of Easter? How is your lenten journey helping you focus on Jesus?

Christians throughout history have fasted in preparation for the Lord’s Supper. In addition to the elements of repentance and humility before God in this kind of fast; it is also intended to help the person focus on adoring the One who is represented in the Supper.” Donald S. Whitney


Fasting


Modern life offers many luxurious “perfumes” to cover up the smell of eternal death. When we are enjoying our favorite foods and entertainments, it can be easy to forget the decay of sin and death all around us. Lent helps us to remember that there is only one who actually reverses decay- the God who raises the dead.– Timothy G. Walton

As we move into the fifth week of Lent, this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on our fasting. Many of us gave up something for the season leading to Easter. At this point, it is good to ask, How is that going?

How is your fast? What are you learning? How is God using it to teach you? Has your fast become an annoying habit or a purposeful experience that is focusing you on God?

Let us not lose site of why we would participate in a fast. Instead, let us remember who God is, what God has done, and live in a way that responds to the grace of God.

Isaiah 58:1-14

“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10  if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.

13  “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”


Sin and Death


We are entering the fourth week of Lent. Again, it is a journey towards Holy Week when we were remember the death of Jesus and celebrate His resurrection. It is a time for us to prepare for that week; to really reflect and consider our condition so that we can truly celebrate what Christ has done for us. Here is what I read today to help me reflect:

For some Christ-followers, sin and death weave so familiar a narrative that we’ve become numb to their sting. For others of us, the wages of sin and our subsequent spiritual death weigh so heavily that we refuse to accept God’s gracious mercy.
The balance in which God calls us to rest is our certainly dissatisfied with both extremes. As we begin to understand our current spiritual story through the eyes of Christian history, we grieve as we own the sins of humanity yet rejoice with the saints in the climax of our shared salvation story.(Holy Bible: Mosaic)

I don’t ever want to take lightly the story of salvation!

Today’s scripture passage is from Luke 15:1-32. As you read, consider these things… What parable do you identify with? How do you see the interplay between our sin and God’s salvation? What stands out to you? What does it mean for you today as you reflect on sin, death, and God’s salvation?


Hungry


We are now one week into the season of Lent. It was a week ago that some of us decided to sacrifice something for the season. Some of us may have decided to take up a practice during these days that lead to Easter. I am curious- how is it going for you?

I was reflecting on how this week has gone while I read today’s passages. They are not very long passages, from Deuteronomy 8:3 and Psalm 51:17. The questions I wrestled with while reading were: When I’m hungry for what I have given up, am I allowing that to remind me of my deep need for Jesus? Am I just following through with this practice of Lent, or is it helping to soften my heart and create a desire for Jesus? What is happening in my heart during this season? Am I being broken and drawn closer to Jesus? And what about the practice that I have taken up? Is it just another part of my to-do-list? Or am I allow the practice to really get into my core and help me become more like Jesus?

I hope that this journey is challenging you. What I am discovering is that it can be a fantastic time of drawing closer to Jesus. I’m thankful for the season. It is helping me to focus on the sacrifice of Jesus and be challenge to live with a softened heart towards God. I pray it is doing the same for you.