Tag Archives: Easter

LENTEN INSIGHT 2019: #2

When coughing, sniffling and feeling overall yukky, just sitting in a chair and watching your preacher on TV (plus a few others), a few movies and a couple of your favorite TV shows seems like a very good idea.
 
Have I mentioned that I hate being sick?
 
I had all these plans for the weekend. A weekend in the high 50’s, bright sun, Carolina blue sky and perfect for getting those early spring clean-up/planting chores on the road to completion – not to mention a few lazy turns on the patio swing.
 
Have I mentioned that I really hate being sick?
 
So – here I am on a totally “nothing accomplished at all” Sunday night, drinking my cabernet, munching on a cracker or two while a warm cat sits on my lap loving me in her own special way.
 
And…
That is when it happens.
God speaks.
In the sweetest way ever.
 
I laugh and
Sit down in the middle of doing nothing
Until I realize –
I may not have accomplished anything this weekend,
but He accomplished a whole lot in me.
 
Sometimes –
We just need to…
Be slowed down.
Slowed to a bumpy stop…
And notice how broken our path has become.
 
Sometimes –
Coughing out the gunk that has accumulated,
Blowing the stuffiness that clogs our thoughts,
And looking up
Reminds us…
It’s not our world or our plans…
 
It’s His.
 
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”~Jn 3:16-17
 
I’m still blowing the gunk out of my way,
Rubbing Vick’s on my feet,
But somehow –
Feeling a whole lot better as I look at my hiking shoes.
 
However –
 
If I don’t quite get those shoes on tomorrow,
It just means I have another day.
Another day to be still.
Another day to listen.
Another day for my Father’s voice to speak.
Another day to be loved unconditionally.
 
Despite my broken path,
Despite clogged ears,
Despite my near-sightedness,
Despite my whining.
I am His.
 
Can’t say I love the way He knocked me off my path this weekend, but as a teacher in this world, I understand teaching methods that work the best often are the ones that force us to find our knees and lean on a Rock in a dark garden. A Rock that is ever so much stronger than we are.
 
It is what it is. We are a stubborn lot, afterall.
 
We just have to remember the Voice that continues to seek companionship as He wait to walk with us in His garden.I may still be coughing, but His voice caught my attention. I will get to tending my earthly garden eventually. The yard will get cleaned eventually. And Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle will – eventually – get off my lap so I can get up and go to bed.
 
This broken path can be smoothed and straightened.
This cold and brain fog will dissipate in the Sonshine.
His WORD, love and grace is eternal.
Easter is just around His corner –
We just have to roll away a few stones.
 
“Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Guard the bed that I lay on.
Two to guard and to pray
And me to wake at break of day.” 
images (2)  [personal photo – Golden book of Hymns, c. 1950]

NEVER ALONE

It is Grands’ night. Hot tub – mac n’ cheese Papa style – Wii – 2 bowls of popcorn (half of it on the bed) – 1 bottle of Grandma water (a piece) – 3 peep Oreos each – 1 movie – drawing the last picture of the night in their little notebooks – a little Jim Brickman lullaby in the background – 1 Koayah puppy squished in the middle of them – and they are asleep. (and yes – Mama – they brushed their teeth extra good because I threatened never to spoil them again. Although – I don’t think they really believed me. They kept laughing.)

I don’t know who enjoys these nights more. We talk. We catch up on their ball practices and school. We talk about coloring duck eggs with their neighborhood besties tomorrow and laugh over a stubbed toe. There is nothing more precious than getting to spend a night with the Grands. I only wish I could have retired about 13 years earlier so I could have moved to MI to be with my older Grands…well…that is probably stretching it a bit since a MI winter is definitely not on my to-do-over-list.

It is not how I usually spend my evenings on Maundy Thursday. Growing up, we would go to church. Later in college and beyond, our family would go to church. Full of familiar rituals, age-old hymns, prayers, solemnity. In the past few years, this night has been more an internal day and today was an eye opener.

The Grands and I were on the bed, watching Prince of Egypt in honor of Passover when it dawned on me. This was probably a closer way to spend this Holy Day than anything I have everdone. The Grands and I shared a meal. We laughed and told stories. We remembered the Moshe and the first deliverence of the Jewish people. We sang a song – it wasn’t Psalm 118 which is the Psalm sung at the Passover Seder – but in my heart it was singing.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.”~Psalm 118:1

And now – in the quiet of the night – my prayers circling to the darkened, star-lit skies – Grands stretched out all over the large bed – dog snuggled in their own bed while Hubby snores softly in his – I find my cornerstone of this night. The stone rejected steadies my balance and holds me upright. Even has a yawn stretches up through my rib cage and my eyes grow heavy, I struggle to stay awake and pray with Him.

“They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”~Mk 14:32–34

This is the part of the night that hits Rabbi Yeshua’s humanness – hits my humanness. I don’t do well with sacrifice. I like to think I do, but I don’t. I know my eyes – like the loved ones who shared the meal with their beloved rabbi – mine will also close before long, and my prayers will rise into the darkness above me.
 
Alone. He. Prayed.
Alone. He. Cried.
Alone…but not really.
 
The perfect lamb alone in a garden…waiting to become the rejected stone…waiting to sacrifice himself for the world that rejected him…waiting for you…waiting for me, straining to listen for His Father’s voice. No words came. No sign. Just the quite of the night. But that is where Yeshua’s humanness and mine are miles apart because even though he did not “feel” His Father or “hear” His Father or “see” a sign from His Father. He “knew beyond knowing” that His Father was very much present. Listening. Seeing. Loving. Eternally. 
 
The solemnity of the night has wrapped itself around me once again. I wish I always “knew beyond knowing” like my Savior. It is something I still a striving to find. Another yawn brings tears to the surface of my eyes, and I know it is time to check on the Grands once last time before I give in and close my eyes for the night.
 
Mothering habits don’t really ever go away, and I will probably wake up before daybreak and check on them once again. Tonight, I will remember that Rabbi Yeshua was still awake praying. Praying as he waited. Talking to His Father. Trusting His Father. Waiting. But not alone. Never alone.
 
Tonight that is what I remember when I think of Maundy Thursday. Never alone. Ever. Not once.

 

“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.
This is the day the LORD has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps 118:22-24

MIRYAM

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Miryam. She was an only child – some say for a long time – some say for a shorter time. In any case, her parents were afraid to have more children. In fact – she was named for the bitterness, rebellion as a reflection of the times in which they lived. Slavery has a tendency to do that to people.

Eventually Miryam had a younger brother. Her parents named him Aaron, and the siblings grew as children tend to do. But shortly after, Pharaoh grew wary of the great numbers of Jewish children being born. How could he continue to enslave such a massive group if they continued to procreate in such numbers? An edict came down – “Kill all new born males.”

Hmmmmm….sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Some oral traditions say that Miryam and Aaron’s parents decided not to sleep together. Why bring a child into such a world? Unbeknownst to anyone up until now, Miryam had been blessed with a gift of music and prophecy. She told her parents that they were to have another child who would bring redemption to their people.

Obviously, she was right. They got together and Moshe was born. Most of us know the story from there. Miryam watched over the baby in the basket. She prayed against so many things as she watched the basket drift. Some of them answered – some of them not. Surely, she would not have wanted her baby brother to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter – or to be taken in by one such as the royal family and yet – that was exactly the plan of G-d.

I keep getting caught by the similarities between the two, world-changing Passovers. Moshe – Yeshua. Moshe watched over by Miryam. Yeshua watched over by another Miryam (yes – in Hebrew her name was written Miryam) – again a reflection of the times in which she lived. Two men who were threatened with death by just being born. Two men who brought redemption to their people. Two men appearing when needed. A people enslaved. A people occupied. Redemption needed by both. Two Passovers with two Jewish men in pivotal positions of faith AND with two women named Maryam who watched them grow into their G-d path.

There are so many similarities between these two Passovers, and I have a feeling that I haven’t even begun to see all that there is to see. G-d winks at us so often – trying to catch our attention – trying to encourage us to see what He has so clearly designed to show us – – – why Christ followers are so tied to the Abraham followers. Two groups of people tied by two Passovers.

Sometimes when I am writing these things, my stomach and head begin to hurt. Separating tangled strands in my mind is not always easy for me. Clarity elusive. But just when I’m ready to slam the laptop closed and delete it all, a fleeting picture forms in my mind that takes me one step further, and I sigh under my breath, ‘How did I miss that?” I push open that narrow gate, whisper a prayer and take one more step forward.

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”~Rv 4:8b [google images]

TWO PASSOVERS

 

The moon is up in our neck of the woods and it is full and beautiful tonight. The hubby and I were sitting outside for awhile (until the CAVS game on) as it was rising. The dogs and I took one last walk around the gardens in the twilight before we came in. Now I can see all my friends’ pictures of the full moon from different states as I sit in my easy chair.

In the Jewish calendar this full moon sheds its light on the beginning of Passover. It is a festival that celebrated the days that changed the world of the Jewish people. Changed it from a world full of chains, brutality and oppression and spun it around into a world of choices, courage and freedom.

Sometimes, I wish I was a mouse on the floor of history and could listen and watch the dynamics of historical events. Can you imagine the ancient conversations that were taking place during this week? The rumors – the rumblings – the hushed meetings as they gathered to listen – to learn – to seek wisdom in what was happening.

We tend to take for granted – as we do all historical things – the facts – without remembering the emotional undercurrents. Just like today, there must have been dissension – fear – broken families – friendships burning out as people made their choices. Follow Moses? Trust Pharaoh? G-d really in this? The evil one?

They probably all painted their doorways with the blood of a lamb. That was an easy choice and why not? Better safe than sorry. Maybe it would make the family feel better. The familiar was still there. A swatch on the left. A swatch on the header. A swatch on the right. A triangle pointing towards heaven. A whispered prayer beseeching the protection of G-d. A hope to see the dawn of a new day. A wish for easy answers. A path cut through the stormy waters to a Promised Land.

We tend to think that all the Jewish people painted their doors and gleefully followed Moses out of Egypt. After all, who doesn’t want to be free? The truth falls a little short of that Charleston Heston movie with the multitude moving towards the sea. According to Jewish Sages – the number was more like a fifth of the Ivrim, the Jewish people.

Walking away from the security of all they had known was too scary for some – just like it would be for some of us. After all, there is security in the chains of the familiar. Chains that often keeps us in a job we hate…an abusive relationship…a habit that feeds some sense of being that we think we need more than we need change.

But this is also the first day of Holy Week for Christians. It is the celebration of another Passover that set the Ivrim world on its ear. (Again, being a mouse is appealing to my curious nature.) However, I know deep within me that it was also a Passover full of dissension, fear, broken families, burned friendships. Follow Jesus? Trust Caiaphas? Is G-d really in this? The evil one?

It was not easy. Even the disciples fell away – except for one, his mother and a few others who stood at the foot of the cross. Freedom is never easy. Again, the number of Ivrim that chose to follow was just a small percentage of the nation. Who knew that these few people would change the world forever. A Passover that would change the essence of the festival to its core.

A human lamb who shed His blood in the shape of another triangle painted on wood – an inverted triangle. A left hand. A right hand. His feet. A triangle pointing down from heaven. G-d once more sending an answer to His children – an answer of a Father’s Love – a Father’s Love strong enough to break the chains forever and cut a path through the stormy waters of sin to a Promise Land beyond compare.

It is interesting to note, that when you put these triangles together -one on top of another – they form the Star of David. The symbol that flies in Jerusalem on this first night of Passover and this first night of Holy Week. Two Passovers that changed the Ivrim world and the world around it. Freedom from chain of all kinds. Freedom to remember. Freedom to chose His path or stay in our comfy chains. Freedom to humble ourselves, fall on our knees, and give thanks to the One who gave His all for us – the gift of grace and love.

“For God loved the world in this way: so much that he would give up his Son, The Only One, so that everyone who trusts in him shall not be lost, but he shall have eternal life.”~Jn 3:16   [google images]

10th DAY OF NISAN

I. Did. Absolutely. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
And.
I.
Loved.
It.

Well – – – that is probably a tiny exaggeration. I did the usual devotional time. Wrote my daily letter for Lent. Cleaned the kitchen. Threw sticks for dogs. Mowed the tiny bit of grass that we call a yard. Visited with my egg lady and her daughter with the broken ankle when they delivered my huge duck eggs – even got some extra eggs for the Grands to color next weekend. (Can’t wait to see their faces as they color these huge eggs) Cooked super. Yawned and climbed in the hot tub.

Seriously though – didn’t read books – didn’t plant one thing – didn’t pitch any mulch – didn’t research any of those things that randomly popped up during the day – didn’t walk the dogs on their usual hike – didn’t run to the store – just didn’t do a lot of things that I usually do. Just a lazy, stretch out kind of day.

Not only a lazy day – but a day completely misnamed in my head. I kept thinking that today was Sunday. Ever do that? A computer glitch in the brain labels the day and there you go. It is SUNDAY – even if you aren’t doing all the things you normally do on Sunday. Not once did I think it was Saturday until I got out of the hot tub tonight and turned on the TV. Then it dawned on me that not only was today NOT Sunday, but tomorrow was not just any Sunday.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday.

“This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb.”~Ex 12:2-3

The Western Easter calendar and the Jewish calendar do not always mesh. Sometimes the dates are just off. This is one of those years. Passover starts Monday at sunset on the 10th of Nisan – April 10th for us. The 10th of Nisan is important to Passover. It is the day families would walk to all the pens of sheep around the Temple Mount. Pens full of Lambs that the priests had declared pure and without blemish. Lambs that waited for be chosen as a Passover Lamb. Families would choose the lamb that would atone for their sins on the 10th day in the month of Nisan.

Guess what date it was when Jesus rode into Jerusalem?

“They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.”~Matt 21:7-9a

Yupper – the 10th of NIsan. Rabbi Yeshua – declared pure and without blemish by John, a priest of Aaron’s line – climbed upon a donkey – just as Issac climbed on a donkey – just as prophesied by Zechariah – and was brought into the home of all Jewish people with great celebration and acclaim. Jerusalem. The holy mount where a stumbling man named Abram looked up and finally gave his heart in faith completely to El Shaddai.

The 10th day of Nisan.

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”c
“Hosannad in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”~Matt 21:9b-11

[google images]

21 DAYS

It is 21 days till Easter. 21 days of a journey left. 21 days to follow a path. 21 days till the stone exploded, breaking the binds that tethered it to an earthly kingdom and releasing the radiant light of Grace from the spiritual kingdom.

For the past few weeks, I have not written much. Instead, everyday I have been reading, walking, observing, writing, praying, and drawing a small inked cross on the inside of my wrist. I didn’t think of this idea myself. One of my favorite authors has been doing this on a regular basis for a while now, Ann Voskamp. She talks about it in her book, The Broken Way.

At first, I wondered why she would do this. What possible difference in a spiritual walk could a tiny, inked cross on a wrist do for anyone? Yet, during this Lenten walk, I have noticed a difference. A difference that – perhaps – is more on the inside of me than the physical ink on the inside of a wrist. However, true to my silly Gemini self, that ink is often different colors. One color layered on top of another on some days. Other days, completely washed away by the blessed business of the day.

There is a path just down from our house that our neighbors have given me permission to walk. The dogs and I love it. There are no cars or even so much of the sound of cars, lots of smells, lots of deer prints, and I’m sure a few snakes in the grass that I hope I never see. (Lucky for me, the dogs always run ahead of me.)

As the temperatures warmed, the grass began to appear until it has become a green carpet that pulls us forward every time we walk. Trees and tall grasses from a not too distant past line its edges. Occasionally, a fallen branch from a recent storm also lie beneath our feet waiting to trip us up. Further up the way, there are other vestiges of an older life as well. Man-made reminders of that which was: large trees around a yard of a small deserted cabin, a log shed, horse-pulled tools now covered by weeds, a small, empty water trough.

As always, I wonder about the people who walked these lands before me. Indians, slave, indentured servants, landowner. I wonder and in some weird strange way, find myself praying for them as they walked these lands.

The cross on my wrist catches my eyes as I switch the button on the camera in my phone. For a minute my breath catches, “Baruch Hashem Adonai,” I whisper, “Blessed Be the Name of the LORD.” Koey sniffs the scent of something and is off running. Ryndi rolls in the leaves and tall grass for the umpteenth time. All, just reminders that this world is temporary, and all our education, ownership, accomplishments are -eventually – just “dust in the wind”.

Baruch is the Hebrew word that means “to bless”. It also means “to kneel”. When God sent His Son to walk a footpath on this earth, He knelt in front of all humanity. He squeezed the limitless into a limited body. He folded His greatest sacrifice into His greatest blessing and laid it on the path for all to find.

Easter. Grace. Salvation.

“Therefore strengthen your hands and set your shaky knees firmly. Make straight paths for your feet, that the lame member may not fail, but that it may be healed.”~Heb 12:12-13

My knees don’t bend so well anymore, but there are times when I force them because I can’t imagine not kneeling when His presence is so close. Tonight, it is warm in our house. The cross on the inside of my wrist is faded and fuzzy. My eyes are hurting as I try to hold them open for a few more minutes. It was a warm day in NC and when you have a bit of a fever, the house feels even warmer. But – it has been a blessed day. A day to sacrifice a little. A day to sleep a lot more than usual. A day to whisper a few more times, in thankfulness for these 21 days, “Baruch Hashem Adonai.”

DEEP DARKNESS

The advent candles are growing dim as if they have become sentient and know on some level that it is time to remember – time to remember when the darkness that covered the earth became even darker than dark. So I watch as one by one, the batteries give out and darkness takes over my windows.

I know it is time – after all – Easter is the resolution of Part 2 of His Creation story. Time to remember a climax that had been written in His Son’s blood as it shook the earth, tore the curtains of the covenant and scattered the rest of His children in all directions. But the theme – the theme that had been building through every story written in the His-tory of His children – burst forth on the third day. What English teacher couldn’t love that story?

Tonight I walked the puppies over to the new shed the darkness was fairly deep. The moon still on the other side of the horizon makes it harder for  the old eyes that take just a little longer to adjust these days. But there were stars. Stars bright enough to draw my eyes upward. On the way back, we sat for a few minuets by a smoldering fire. Without so many trees in the way, I can sit on our patio and just enjoy the view. Where, on moonless nights like tonight, the dark is deep and the stars blink patterns that make me wonder about all the blessings in my life.

Rabbi Yeshua hinted that it is in our deepest darkness that we can find the blessings that were created and placed there long ago just for us to find when we need them. Merely by holding on to a mustard seed of faith, we manage to cast of our boat into the darkness of the night and throw out our nets into the deepness of His waters. [Luke 5:4-11]

Tonight as I lock the doors, and coerce the sisters off the couch for our walk to bed, that I begin to let the praises of the day rise to the forefront of my mind. Thankful thoughts for my family, friends and neighborhood circling within my sphere of life like the hours circle the fulfillment of a day.

Thankful for Grandson who runs up the driveway every time I come to his house just to hug me through the window one last time.

Thankful for dogs who love to chase sticks or balls anytime I want to throw one.

Thankful for former students (and Grands far away) who still keep me laughing as I edit their papers and get a peek into their current lives.

Thankful for the beautiful day to rake leaves and plant our tub garden.

Thankful for  a resolution that continues to blaze within me everyday.

Thankful for candle batteries that die to reveal the deep darkness.

Thankful for a boat and the flickering verses of the WORD that light the way.

Thankful for all the blessings that I caught in my net today and for the ones I have yet to discover tomorrow.

“May the God of your father help you;
may the Almighty bless you
with the blessings of the heavens above,
and blessings of the watery depths below,
and blessings of the breasts and womb.
May the blessings of your father
surpass the blessings of the ancient mountains,e
reaching to the heights of the eternal hills.”~Gen 49:24-26a

RELEASED

The Passover moon was hidden deep in the clouds. Those that He loved were scattered, scared, weeping. Primal screams lodged in their throats, trapped tightly since that last night with Him. Had it truly been just 48 hours past since their peaceful sleep under the soft whispers of the olive trees’ leaves? Two nights since – just like their ancient ancestors – a release from the known for the unknown. Alone, they sat with their backs against their own known walls and wept – afraid of what scary things might lie beyond in the unknown..

“I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”~Matt 26:20/Zech 13:7

Yet –

Deep in the recesses of this darkness, a torch burned. Words that circled with a brightness of promise – renting the veil as surely as the curtains ripped in the temple just one day past. A promise that grew brighter as they wiped the tears with the back of their hands and managed to push their knees under their quaking bodies. Facing forward, they craned their head to catch a glimpse of that which was beyond the known wall.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”~Jn 16:20

A familiar voice. His voice. A voice that was different, yet the same. “…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Morning. A promise to capture. A promise that burned now within each of them – alone – yet together in His light.

Clouds scattered intermittently – at first – slowly – hesitantly – just as their doubts assailed them over the passing hours of the night. The Sons and Daughters of Israel warred with themselves with what they had known over the last three years and what unknowns lie ahead. Would He? When? How could He? When? How would they know? When? Over and over and over.until the black turned to purple then to a pale blue.

Just as the clouds gave way to the brightness of His word torch, so too did their doubts scatter Standing, the threshold of faith waiting to be crossed, each, in their own way, just as their forefathers had crossed out of Egypt, took the first step into the unknown – releasing their fears and then – their joy adding wings to their feet – running after the pillar of God that swirled before them into the unknown.

f2e3fa750a9bcee4da7b87f173beda55 (1)” Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”~ Lk 24:5-7

It is Easter Morn. The darkness has been released once again and joy comes with the morning. Blessings!Be! on this Easter Morn. May your darkness be released. As Esther freed her people from the threat of Haman – as Moshe released his people from their captivity in Egypt – so too,did the Son of God release all people who choose to follow Him from their dark night to eternal joy in the morning.

[google images and youtube]

.

YOURS IS THE KINGDOM

kingdom cMore eyes than mine seem to be focused on the moon tonight. I’ve seen several pictures posted on line, and I have been outside to look at it more than once. The moon’s fullness will help my youngest son celebrate his birthday. It will be the third blood moon of the tetrad. Passover begins on Friday at sundown…Easter comes on Sunday…the blood moon at 3:16 AM on the 4th.

“And when some of the Pharisees asked Yeshua, “When is the Kingdom of God coming”, he answered and he said to them, “The Kingdom of God does not come with what is observed.” “Neither do they say, ‘Behold, here it is!’ and ‘Behold, there it is!’, for behold, the Kingdom of God is within some of you.”.”…~Lk 17:20-21

The moon light drifts over my shoulder as I write tonight. Like an added blessing to a blessed day of friendship, Grands, a talky hubby and happy puppies. It is good to walk fairly easily again and have energy to boot. My new doctor seems to have targeted whatever remenants of this insideous infection that has plagued me since last spring. Who knew that bacteria could change the inward workings of the body character in such a massive way. And yet…………………………………….

“For if a kingdom will be divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand.” ~Mk 3:24

And yet………………..isn’t that what happens when we accept Christ into our hearts? We can no longer serve the evil one and Christ. Everything – from our outward actions to the tiniest molecular interaction begins to change within us. For some, the change is easy and almost instantaneous. For me, the change has been a constant interaction of learning, testing, stretching, more testing. Mostly – because I am too stubborn, too full of doubts and too full of myself to just relax into His arms. Basically, it has taken a tiny parasite to show me what I should have seen way before this. Christ needs every part of us when we surrender so that He can set up His Kingdom within us.

“Our Father who are in Heaven, hallowed be your name,
kingdom aLet Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done also in the earth, just as it is in Heaven.Give us our necessary bread today.And forgive us our debts, just as we also forgive our debtors.And lead us not to temptation but deliver us from evil, for Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, for the eternity of eternities.” ~Matt 6:9-13

“…Yours is the Kingdom…” I like reading the Aramaic Bible in Plain English translation when I am reading scripture. It’s wording somehow finds that chasm within me and builds a bridge. A chasm that’s deep darkness cloaks my doubts…. fears…dizzingly heights that hinder me from proceeding on His journey. “For behold, the Kingdom of God is within some of you.”

The moon’s brightness lights our living room, and I know that when I go to bed tonight, I will open the blinds and let the light cascade over our bed as I say my final prayers for the night. I have foundational stones slowly being put in place. Christ and Our Father’s Love – daily. Freedom from my sins – daily. A new kingdom being established within me- daily. It is what Passover and Easter bring into my life – daily.

bloodmoon2

[google images]

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/04/01/blood-moon-with-total-lunar-eclipse-biblical-message-rising-over-u-s-during-easter-weekend/

FREEDOM

cleft aIt is about this time when the quietness of night begins to enter the weariness of my body, and I rejoice in its peace. The neighborhood has long since closed their windows and tucked the little ones into bed. While chimatic tones caught by the breeze dance through the windows and pull my eyes toward the windows. The moon is larger tonight. Passover and Easter so close.

“My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,”

This is when Our Father speaks most clearly to me. He seeks me out. His dove. His child. He pushes away the sin of this day – just as He has pushed away the legions of sins in my past – and finds my hiding place – a small cleft in the mountain of shame.

“Show me your face…”

We humans tend to weigh our sins. Lies less than murder. Fresh fantasy less than actual adultry. Lofty logic less than inventive idolatry. Once up a time, I did not understan Grace…did not truely understand the gift given by a Father and His Son. Knees bruised. Tears racking the body. I walked away from His blessings and hid in the cleft of the mountain. I still have a tendancy to do that.

He sought me out in that mountain cleft then just as He seeks me tonight, “Show me your face…”

The words echo in the stillness as Light of His righteousness pierce the cracks in my fingers. Blood hues fill the cup of my hands. My eyes dare to open. I’m such a sad witness of His grace. How can I face Him again? How can I fall – time after time? Impatience…anger…pride…judgmental thoughts…lust for past idols haunt me, and I close my eyes tight against the Light once again.

“…let me hear your voice for your voice is sweet…”

I wander to my piano and let my fingers find familiar notes. Cracking at first, my voice echoes my weakness. Light fills the room and harmonies weaves peaceful waves in my ears. Blessings of grace fill the room leaving no room for the faulty choices that led me up the mountain in the first place. Mountain forgotten. Light touching every part of my being; I curl into the cleft of His hand rather than the hard cleft of rocky shame.

“…your face is lovely.” ~Song of Songs 2:14

I have been freed from my sins once again. Love. Freedom. Two major foundational stones of my faith and of this night. The geese have awakened for one reason or another. Their cries echoing up the from the lake and in through our window as I prepare to rest. It has been a long day of flitting here and there…human busyness that interupted and tried to divert. But He sought me out and Grace reigns.

Holy Week. A time to remember our frailties. A time to contemplate the Light of a Son’s gift to us. A time to remember that we are forgiven of our sins – totally… completely…eternally.

[google images]

cleft b