In the midst of all the chaos that surrounds us- and it is chaos(!)...and it is surrounding us(!) we christians should beyond all others have that peace that has been promised to us. It is that peace and the many promises that should keep us from denying our Lord and should propel us to tell others about what it is they are seeing, and what is to come.
Denying our Lord, compromising on His morals, dictates, commands, running away from the battle is not our calling. In revelations, John tells us about the lake awaiting cowards. No, now is when we earn our stripes! Our crown. Our great reward. There will not be any peace coming on this side of heaven. There may be promises of peace...promises of safety, and maybe of riches and power. If those promises are kept, it is only temporary.
Our Lord has promised something very different. He has promised wars and rumors, divisions in family, chaos. Let us not be surprised, or dismayed. Let us hold fast, tightly, to Him that died for us. He has an appointed time in which He will return and make all things right.
I am so proud of the church of Jesus Christ! Yes, she has warts, and blemishes that have yet to be corrected, but she is alive and moving towards being all that she has been called to be!
Note: they were NOT 'black' churches that were the target of arson- they were churches of Jesus Christ...it was His body that was attacked. This news has given me renewed hope that we will see that shinning city on the hill- before the return of Christ!
The world is becoming so dark...gradually, yet, perceptibly. What a great time it is to have a light!! I remember summer nights in Virginia where there were no street lights, and we kids had matches! Such a small light was seen from great distances... The darker it was, the further the light could be seen. Fortunately for me, my auntie saw it and convinced me that it was not in my best interest to continue that!
Our world is now so dark, that any small amount of light will be seen from great distance. Such a great time to have a light to offer. AND, we don't have an auntie discouraging us, instead we have a Father that commands us to do it!
This little light:
is brightly shining. Let us go and do likewise.
Am I made in Imago Dei or is Imago Dei in me or am I Imago Dei?
When Christ was on the cross, dying, He cried out to His Father, saying “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Who was the ‘they’? Just those women looking on – the Daughter’s of Jerusalem?, or the crowd? or His disciples that had run away??
I contend that those He was speaking of included me, and all like me that have since believed on His name. Us that are the Imago Dei- created in the image of God. So, as He was being crucified, He thought of me, of you, of us…all those Imago Dei creatures…He was still thinking not of Himself, but of others.
How do I live that out? How do I reflect His glory? How do I live up to that standard, Imago Dei? How do I present myself, my behavior, my thoughts such that I too think of others…beyond their outward appearance, but to their true essence- the image of God. Bearing God’s image. And of them more highly than I think of myself, my needs, my druthers…
How should I react when that image is mistreated? Abused? Hungry? Imprisoned? Naked?
Can I make any conclusions about myself when I look at others and NOT see Imago Dei?
Father forgive me…for I know and I still do…
The acronym BLM tends to raise the hackles of some, causing the retort- 'all lives matter!' It is true, all lives do matter, but when one group is targeted differently than the rest, we should acknowledge and address it.
Ohio recently passes a bill into law that would prohibit abortions after the baby's heartbeat is detected; a great step in the right direction. However, this wasn't done until after Rep. Janine Boyd proposed an amendment to that bill that would exclude African-American children from this protection. She thought it a good thing to continue killing AA children after the heartbeat is detected; she doesn't claim to be color-blind. Her amendment was supported by 40% of her elected peers. Fortunately it didn't pass, so that in Ohio all children over 6 weeks are protected...this time.
The 40% are still in office.
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
"And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
You fathers will understand best – mothers too, but it’s not the same. This is my son; this is my only son!
He’s dying – here before my eyes – tearing my soul apart. Every hope I had for him is gone. Ended. My son!
These other two are tragedies too, but this one is MY son! Why? Why?!
That one there in the middle; what’s He doing here? Last week we had a parade welcoming Him into the city; it passed right by my shop door. It was exciting – even talk that He might be our Messiah – but this? If He is the Messiah, what’s He doing here?
But this is my son – on a cross – as a thief!
He was a fine boy – helped his mother, learned my trade of a potter. He was talented, very imaginative. People chose his work over mine! We raised him in the synagogue home – he took his Bar Mitzva –he knew the Scriptures well for a youth.
But when his mother died of some terrible fever, it was as if his world ended. He changed so much – became angry, lonely, even disrespectful – hot tempered.
What?? You’re arguing with your terrible friend there? He’s dying as a thief too. What? You’re confessing? And this empty Messiah promises that you will be with Him in Paradise today? Oh my son! You grasp at nothing!
He would disappear for days, then come home having a little money. He said he worked for it, but I never knew for whom or where. Then I would find little things that did not belong in our house… jewelry – silks – silver pieces. He said people who had no money paid him in these things. Being too trusting a father, I was silent and believed him.
One day two Roman soldiers were at my door. “Where is your son?” they demanded.
“He was identified running from the home of Avran, the money lender, and Imperial gold has been stolen.” I knew nothing, could tell them nothing. He had disappeared; gone for over a year.
See how he strains against the bonds. Oh please, let me touch him, give him water!
And the middle one, He cries that He is forsaken! Of course - forsaken. I don’t see His father anywhere. My son, I am here. I am at your feet. I won’t leave you. I was told that he was caught, and would face the death penalty.
Now here I am – in this horror.
The middle one shouts, “It’s done! I finished it!” And mumbling something, life goes out of Him like wind out a sail. The flame from a candle. “Today – Paradise”?
Oh my son, die quickly – die now – get it over. Oh no, the soldiers are coming to break your legs! God have mercy, let him die NOW! Die NOW! Oh no, no, no! Cling to those words – “Today! Paradise! Today – Paradise!” It is your only hope! Paradise! Today – Paradise – Paradise!!
Holy Saturday is like the book of Esther:
Jesus is not seen or mentioned in the midst of
what seem like entirely hopeless circumstances...
But He is still at work for our good.
The burning of the three churches in Louisiana last week was very concerning to me, but of more concern was the catholic churches non-response. How can a part of the body be attacked without the entire body being affected? How can we be silent, from within our 'sanctuaries', all the while claiming to be a part of His body? Maybe they aren't really a part of His body...or maybe we aren't...
The enemy isn't satisfied with attacking only a part of His body- he continues as we sit in silence (fear?, hate?) We see that with the burning across the pond.
This poem is so very apropos for our time:
“I have been examining myself and looking back upon my past life, but I can find nothing in myself and nothing in all my services to recommend me at the bar of Jehovah. Christ is my all. His blood is my only hope of acceptance.
I recently heard a man tell of how Africans coming to America as slaves left their ethnicities behind, as they were joined with other Africans from various tribes having only skin color in common. Here in America they became Black (as a ‘race’.) Their Blackness destined them to servitude, oppression, and pain here in America.
I was also told that Europeans and others from like places coming to America as immigrants, abandoned their ethnicities and joined with others having only skin color in common. Here in America they became White (as a ‘race’.) Their Whiteness destined them to power, higher class distinction, and privilege here in America.
I’ve concluded that behind the Blackness and Whiteness there are a multitude of lost ethnicities. Revelations 7:9+ tells me that it is those ethnicities that will be redeemed and honored before our King. Blackness and all it implies will not be there. Whiteness and all that it implies will not be there. Both of those artificial concepts are the result of sin, and will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
We will have our place with our “nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” as we glorify our King! No pain. No sin.