Christ Is Risen! Alleluia!

Mark 16.png

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, Who, will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has Risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, and tell his disciples and Peter, He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Mark 16:1-8

According to the Scriptures, our Risen Savior appeared to different individuals before ascending to the Father. It was a random coming and going, but specific encounters to teach us certain things. This took place during the period between Easter and Pentecost, between the Resurrection and Ascension. In today’s Scripture verse, Jesus gives us some “resurrection comfort.” When the men who walked to Emmaus were back in Jerusalem with the joyful news of their encounter with the risen Jesus, the other disciples replied, “The Lord has really risen!” (Luke 24:34) Paul says, “He was seen by Peter and then by the twelve” (I Corinthians 15:5-6) All these pronouncements tells us that, firstly, the Risen Lord wants to give the remorseful sinner back his self-respect. The first apostle Jesus appeared to was the one who denied Him. (Peter) Here the greatness of Christ’s love is demonstrated. He thought about the bitter grief of the Peter who wronged him, instead of wrongs and grief He himself suffered. Put yourself in this situation. Imagine with how much trepidation Peter received this message! Could it be true? Did he hear correctly? Did Jesus really mention his name? He has been the cause of so much of Jesus’ sorrow. He had denied Him three times! But this is how Jesus treats the sinner. Wo will ever be able to fathom the depth of God’s forgiving grace?

Against the dark background of Peter’s denial, the light breaks through in the disciples’ words to the men from Emmaus: The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34) A jewel glitters so much brighter on a dark background. Likewise, the grace of God and His saving omnipotence are best seen in a deeply fallen sinner. This short extract from history should encourage even the greatest sinner to go to the Father and confess their sins.

The gospel gives us no sensational or gripping detail of the conversation between Christ and Peter. Peter didn’t tell anyone what happened between him and Jesus. In life there are intimate and personal things that cannot bear up under the harsh glare of public exposure. There are spiritual experiences that must remain private because they are part of one’s personal fellowship with God. We dare not reveal every spiritual blessings to inquisitive publicity seekers, or shout it from the mountaintops. 

Three long nights of consuming grief followed Golgotha as well as the shock of Judas’ gruesome death. The offering that God seeks is a broken heart and a downcast spirit; He will not break those who are struggling. Peter discovered what true remorse meant, being tearful, unsure of his next step, knowing he was a fallen sinner, with hands outstretched to heaven in an impassioned plea for grace. And Christ in His unfathomable love and mercy is there, a place of true repentance. He meets in quiet reclusion with the remorseful sinner.

Prayer: Dear Jesus:

I come to you with a humble heart asking for forgiveness of my sins that I have committed. I thank you for taking my place on the cross at Calvary. Help me to become more like you and to serve others in your name, as you did here on earth.    Amen

Blessings to All of You on this Easter Day!

 

“Here Is Your Son”

 

 

John 19

  Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved, standing nearby he said to her, “Woman here is your son, “ and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.      John 19:25-27

Our Scripture today  illustrates love born of the sincere heart of a child. Jesus was truly God but also truly human, yet without sin. He knew how much Mary had to suffer. Only love allows one to understand the suffering of another. The love of Christ always burnt brightly, for the entire sinful world, but also is tenderness for His only family and especially for his mother. Christ’s last command concerned his mother. He forgot himself, his own needs, his own sorrow. Human love was an important priority in Jesus’ life. In his dying hour and in his sorrow, he took care of his mother. If anyone dare say that they are taking care of their parents, let them look up at the cross on Golgotha and remember Jesus’ example. Jesus was never more thankful, tender and sensitive than at that moment. He loved his own until the very end. Jesus had already saved the man on the cross next to him, he had already prayed for his enemies, but he did not forget his mother! Human bonds bring responsibilities, responsibilities that remain even after our death. Christ’s suffering and death make us very aware of this. And so on the cross on Golgotha connects the two richest words on earth: mother and Jesus!

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friens

“Father, Forgive Them”

Luke 23

Two other men, both criminals were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with two criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the chosen One.”            Luke 23:32-35

The seven times Jesus spoke on the cross are like seven windows that gave us insight into the mind and heart or our dying Savior. In the first three, our Savior elaborates on the love in His heart for His enemies, the two thieves on the cross and also His mother Mary. 

Today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we reflect on these words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing. The crucifixion was a brutal act that was not only accompanied by humiliation and scorn, but also by terrible suffering. In those moments of Jesus’ deepest agony, Christ speaks not a curse but a prayer, not a prayer of vengeance, but of sympathy and forgiveness. It is unbelievable by true.!

However, Jesus has a haven amid his suffering: His Father. His Father is also our Father. In our worst grief we can pray to Him. Jesus prays a prayer of compassion. “They don’t know what they are doing!” Jesus prays for others, not for himself. He makes excuses for them rather than condemning them. He preached it, now He was doing it. It was a test of discipleship. He loves us until the very end. His prayer includes everybody: “Father, Forgive them.: And to this day, Jesus intercedes for us. We learn to receive and grant forgiveness at the cross.

Dear Jesus, by your wounds we are healed, thank you for your great sacrificed in our place and your forgiveness of our sins even when we don’t deserve it. Help us to forgive others the way you have forgiven me.                       Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Nothing To Fear

Luke 2bAnd there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.” I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sigh to you. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in  a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angels, praising God and saying”

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what has been told them about this child, and all who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.                                                                     Luke 2:8-20

keld-vision.jpgTry to imagine if you could that you were a shepherd on the night that our Savior was born, you may of been tending the sheep or perhaps having a nap, and then all of a sudden up in the sky was God’s heavenly angels declaring the birth of a Savior. I am sure like many of today’s world all were grip was fear, just as many today have so many things that they are afraid of. Afraid of what tomorrow will bring, afraid to be alone, afraid of death, illness, loosing a job, a love one, too many times our days seem to bring us so much fear, fear of being different, fear of the way someone may treated us or look at us. If we learn to continue to stay in God’s word daily we can read these words as follows: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.                                 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is something that satan tries to input into our minds and it is not something that comes from God. You are precious in God’s eyes, you are his child and his love for you is unconditional that our minds cannot truly understands how much he loves his children. On this Holy Night, take a moment or many and just close your eyes and imagine you being in Bethlehem and walking to the manger, as you look into this wonderful sight, of God coming down here on earth as an infant, just look deep within the manger to see what love is. “For God so loved the world, that he sent his one and only Son into this world.      John 3:16christmas-1010749_960_720

Merry Christmas to you My Friends

Fourth Sunday In Advent

love.pngOn our journey to Christmas we have lit the candles of Hope, Peace, and Joy on our Advent Wreath. We relight them now to remind us of the hope that Christ will come again, bringing everlasting peace and joy. This is the fourth Sunday of Advent so we light the last candle of Love. To a world of empires and despots, war and greed, grief and apathy, we proclaim that love is strong enough to overcome all evil and that compassion is more powerful than fear. The angel Gabriel reassured Mary “nothing will be impossible with God”. The power of love is the power to overcome what we think is impossible. Love tells us God doesn’t want our excuses for why we dare not try, but our faithfulness to do. As we light the candle of Love, we remember that God so loves this world that he sent his only son, Jesus to save us. We do so in honor of those who have shown us how to love even when doing so is not convenient or sensible. We remember those who show us that compassion–unconditional love–is central to a Christian’s life.

Let us pray:

All loving God, break into our world and our hearts again. Magnify your love in us until it overflows to our neighbors. Renew our faith to relive the wonder of your love. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you that we may shine the light of your compassionate love. Come, God of Love. Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Do You Have Room?

Luke 2E.pngAs Mary and Joseph journey on to Bethlehem because of the census they came upon a dilemma, which was that no one I mean no one had a place available for them. However, because they were humble they were willing and did make the stable a home for themselves for a short time. Regardless that Mary was about to give birth to a King at any moment the stable was fine, and a manger where food was kept for animals, was good enough for her son to lay his head upon and rest.  Doesn’t this when you begin to think for a moment or two how our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Universe came into this world and begin his life as a human. There were no fancy birth announcement, and she didn’t give birth to Jesus in a nice warm hospital bed, but she gave birth among the lowest of the earth, the animals. You see Christmas is not about fancy trees, or the parties that we attend or throw ourselves, not about the Christmas cards and definitely not about the presents either. This season is all about the birth of a child who would change the lives of men and woman forever. Our sins as humans have separate us from God and for all of eternity, but God did not give up on his people. His love is unconditional that is why even through we are sinners he sent his only begotten son. Look at the words of the Gospel of John 3:16-18 “For God so love the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosesoever believe would not perish but have eternal life”. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to received glory and honor, and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being,

Revelation 4:11

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.        Revelation 3:20

GiftsThere is only one gift that we could ever possibility give to the Christ child and that is our hearts. It doesn’t matter to Jesus how poor we are, how rich we are, what we have or don’t have, what matters it our hearts and that is all he wants, and for us to give of ourselves to others. Christmas is a season for giving, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we can keep that same Spirit all through out the year and not just one month a year. The greatest commandment that Jesus teaches us is this ” Love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, and mind, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourselves.

Matthew 22:37-39

Prayer: Dear Lord

We come to you just as we are, as sinners, and ask for your forgiveness, and to say please come into our hearts and live with us forever. May we become the people that you have created us to be, not just this Christmas but forever.

In Christ Name we Pray

Amen

Grace and Peace To You My Friends

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 1c.png                       In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. ( This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.                                           Luke 2:1-7

No one expected God to come the way he did as a baby. Yet the way he did come was every important as the coming itself. Jesus was born in a smelling stable along with the animals and then he was place in a manger that his mom Mary made it comfortable for her first born son. The Son of Man came down from his throne as a baby, a child that depend on his mom to be cared for and his father to protect him and his mother. He experienced hunger and thirst. He went through all the normal stages that we all do. He was taught to walk, talk, stand, and all the other things our own mothers taught us. As we journey through this Advent Season focus your eyes on the gift that will lay in the manger on Christmas morning which is the child. Read the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke.

Remember Jesus is the Reason for this Season

Grace and Peace to You My Friends