Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Resurrection



Picture is a Robin Original
Concluding thought from my sermon on the Resurrection: Then and Now.
All of the authors that I have read over the last few weeks agree that if there was no resurrection there would be no story, it is as simple as that. Without the resurrection Jesus would have been like other messianic pretenders and would have simply died, end of story. Throughout history faithful witnesses have confessed God’s plan of salvation through Jesus death and resurrection. The central part and core of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Christ.
In Closing I would like to conclude with a thought on how we need to share the light of Christ with not only those within our church, but with the world in which we have influence:
“On Good Friday evening, Greek Orthodox churches have a service. Afterward, the holy picture that represents Christ, decorated with flowers and candles, is brought to the village square. A solemn procession comes from each church; and a brief service is held. Then, on Saturday night, a second service is held. Just before midnight, the church is plunged into darkness. Suddenly, one lighted candle appears in the sanctuary. The worshipers light their own candles from it and pass on the fire to others. Bells ring. Fireworks greet the resurrection. Each person carries his light home. (Ought we all not carry the light of the resurrection and the gospel into our daily lives?) Then, on Sunday morning, another procession retraces the steps of the previous Friday night. This time, it is no flower-covered coffin, but a picture of the risen Lord that is carried. The music is joyful and triumphant. Christ is alive forevermore! The parallels are obvious. With a dead Christ, we are sad; and we live our lives in darkness. With a risen Christ, we are joyful; and we live our lives in the light. It is a light that cannot be kept at church but must be carried home. It is a light that cannot be selfishly hoarded but must be shared with others.” [1]

Happy Easter everyone, blessings and love,
Robin

[1] http://www.dabar.org/Homiletics/Resurrection/illustrations.htm




Please check out other post on Spiritual Sundays. I am apologize to everyone on Spiritual Sundays and High Calling Blogs for being gone for so long.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Good Friday Reflection: Mary's Journey


Picture: Dieric Bouts's Sorrowing Madonna

As I entered Mary’s story, the Mother of Jesus, and reflected upon her mother’s heart and considered how she must of felt watching her son be crucified, my own mother’s heart broke.

What mother could bear the pain and suffering of watching helplessly as people mocked, ridiculed, spit upon, and tortured their precious child?

Somehow, I thought Mary would have been spared some of the anguish most parents face. However, her anguish and body numbing pain, was the kind that cuts deep into the heart and soul. Mary’s story is one of incredible faith and trust, in the midst of immense mystery, rejection, humiliation, suffering, and sorrow.

Numerous times throughout Mary’s life journey she pondered and treasured within her heart all the events that took place.

The words spoken by the angel Gabriel concerning how she had found favour with God, that she was not to be afraid, she would give birth to a son, he would be great and would be called Son of the Most High. His kingdom would never end, and with God all things are possible.

When Jesus went missing and after his return, he said to her that he was doing his fathers business, her heart was broken, he had disappeared, and he was gone for days.

It was in this moment, the sword the old man Simeon had predicted started to prick her heart.

When Jesus left her home and entered his ministry she knew the long years of silence where coming to an end. Mary saw and heard how he was rejected by her own people.

She now had to relate to her child not just as an adult, but as “Immanuel” God with us. Her role as mother had now moved into a role as a disciple and follower of Christ.

At the wedding at Cana, Jesus asked the question, “Dear woman why do you involve me?” That must have hurt! Really, really hurt!

Another prick from the sword Simeon predicted.

When Mary went to look for him, he had asked the crowd, “Who is my mother, brothers and sisters?” What a crazy question to ask! Deeper the sword went leaving an invisible wound no one could see but a mother could totally feel.

Mary was at the cross, she did not leave. She stood silently as the sword cut her heart entirely. She stood there, lost in grief, with sorrow covering every part of her mind, body, and soul.

Then the words came from her son’s mouth, “It is finished.”

The sword went completely into her heart breaking her spirit totally.

Then she remembered Jesus speaking words from the cross that comforted her soul: “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to John he said, “Here is your mother.”

In these last words Jesus’ love for her covered all the wounds from the predicted invisible sword.

Jesus gift to his mother was to restore her role as mother in a new way. Feelings of rejection and humiliation were removed completely from her soul. Mary never gave up. She pushed through the rejection and pain and quietly followed her son. She knew within her mother’s heart Jesus was born for greatness.

She pondered and treasured within her heart Simeon’s words of praise, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

This part of the journey was finished, but Mary knew this was just the beginning of a new God story and with him all things are possible.

Jesus’ kingdom will never end.

Scripture Passages for Reflection: Luke 1-2; John 2:1-11; Mark 3:31-35; John 19:27

Love to All,
Robin