Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why let Jesus come back??

Jesus had a hunger to be loved according to Mother Teresa. But “He came unto his own and his own received him not.”

If I had the power to raise my Son back from the dead after having been tortured and nailed to a cross it would never occur to me in a thousand years to return him to the kind of creature who had treated him this way. (John Claypool)

That is the miracle of Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How He Came Back to Life

Jesus, did you just sort of “wake up” lying in that tomb? How exactly did it go? 

Your eyes flutter open but your face is covered. To move that covering your hands have to reach up. But your fingers and your nose tell you other things cover your body. Instinctively you try to move your hand up toward your face to move the cloth. Now you smell the myrrh – a smell your life began with 33 years ago. Your hand moves the cloth and fragrances away from your eyes and mouth. As you do that your hand feels tightness to it and to open your palm fully requires a stretching motion. Finally you’ve cleared your face with the help of your second hand. That hand too required that you stretch your fingertips wide to relieve the tautness of the spread.

It’s dark inside the tomb so you don’t see the scars on your palms but as you begin to awaken you also begin to remember. You remember the smell of those same fragrances from your visit to Lazarus’ tomb. Your now outstretched hand brings the scene back. The darkness that covers you confirms the memory. I was dead.

As you lie there you try to collect your thoughts.

I was dead.

The nails went through these same hands. I remember the hammer coming toward my hands and feet. The memories are all rushing back now.

The spear went through my side, Jesus recalled. Instinctively he reached to touch it. A healed scar replaced the torn flesh. And as he tried to lift his head, a smile began to grow ever so slightly on one side of his mouth. I was dead.

No crown of thorns on his head now as Jesus tries to hoist his upper body into a seated position. Buds, plants and flowers all trickle and fall away and Jesus removes the cloth that had once covered his face and body.

Seated upright his eyes try to focus and he turns his head to see where they placed his once lifeless body. The tiny smile begins to broaden into a grin. “Oh Father!” He had been buried and placed in someone’s tomb. It was someone else’s tomb because Jesus never had on for himself. Did he think he’d never need one? But he didn’t have his own house, either. “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:57-58)

“Father” Only one word. After all the experiences of the past three days the only word Jesus could bring himself to speak was “Father”. In that word alone was the full realization of what happened. The union of the two in that one word was like a meteor hitting the earth. The Father, who had been watching his Son’s body return to life as closely as he watched him be scourged, crucified and die, spoke his son’s name. “Jesus!” The strength of their love for one another was spoken in those single words. It was as though a huge surprise party was about to take place and only they knew about it. Jesus’ heart began to pound. He was suddenly anxious to remove himself from the tomb entirely. (Did Lazarus feel like this?”) He place two scarred but strong feet on the ground and reached his head and arms to heaven. He couldn’t wait to meet his beloved Father. He wanted to hug him, give his Abba a big, hearty pat on the back and say, “We did it! It’s done!” Instinctively he knew that would have to wait.

He looked for the entrance to the place where he had lain. Feeling around the walls which surrounded him, Jesus came upon the big stone that stood in the way between him and The Revelation. He would not have it. He could not have a stone between himself and his disciples, his mother, redemption, his Father. No stone would do that. No simple earthly stone was going to stand in his way.

Facing the stone Jesus looked up to heaven and repeated the same word, “Father!” He places his two scarred hands on the boulder blocking Jesus’ entrance into new life and it moved, slowly at first, out of his way.

No stone.

No nails.

No devil.

No death.

Nothing could stop him.

Nothing did.

As the stone rolled away so did the night. The stone was gone, darkness and sin were gone, evil and death were gone. Day broke through and with it Light, Salvation and Redemption. It was a moment of celebration for Father and Son. The grin on Jesus’ face was replaced with a huge smile. The smile erupted into a hearty laugh. “We did it. It’s done!” Jesus tilts back his head and laughs into the sky. “Father, we’ve won! Heaven has come. The doors are open wide so all can join us! Yeah!”

Jesus catches his breath, his heart pounding with excitement. He looks around one last time before he begins the final phase of his journey. Not too far away he sees the image of three empty crosses. Although it was a sobering view, his gaze then turned to the empty tomb behind him. Empty. Cloth on the ground. Stone rolled away. Empty.                                 Jesus then begins to walk toward his future and ours.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Sympathy Card to God

2000 years ago~
Dear God

Your pain is unimaginable to me and I am so sorry! One son – only one- and he is gone. You two were really one person. You thought the same way, acted and talked the same way. You shared everything. Even when you were physically separate you talked together for hours daily. The death of your precious and special son Jesus must be more painful than words can express. I am very, very, sorry for that pain that I helped to create. Yes Father God I am at fault. I watched and did nothing to rescue Him on that awful day. I followed along but I remained silent out of fear of the soldiers. So partly because of my own fear, self-centeredness and unwillingness to live up to my true identity Your Son is dead. I stood there and simply watched instead of making any radical moves. Some did, you know. Veronica stepped forward to help him and so did Simon from Cyrene. But I didn’t. Knowing that I’m sure you believe it is bold of me to send you this sympathy card. But I’m begging for your mercy Father God and hoping you’ll find it in your generous heart to forgive me. I do love you but I know my lack of courage and integrity caused you incredible sadness. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry.

Dear God

Father God, you put it in my heart to live a lifestyle of radical integrity each moment of the day. You gave me the strength and the knowledge I need to accomplish this as well as help from your Holy Spirit whenever it is needed. But I’m just as guilty as someone who stood along the sidelines while Jesus carried His cross to Calvary. Guilty in my failure to live up to the potential you’ve given me. I’m guilty for contributing to his pain AND yours by my inertia. I still haven’t fully lived the radical life of integrity. I’m disappointed in me, in the gift of life I have to return to you on my last day and I’m sorry.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

We’re Hungry Lord.

The Offertory at Mass is like the feeding of the hungry multitude. As a group the congregation stands before God crying, “We’re hungry, Lord!” The food we eat here on earth does not satisfy us. Our souls are empty and unfulfilled. Feed us, please. Fill us” In John 6:11 Jesus fed the crowd as much as they wanted. We bring what we’ve got to God and He blesses it and feeds us all.

                     Rev: 7:16 “Never again will they hunger. Never again will they thirst.”