Tag Archives: kingdom

CHILD-LIKE PEACE

feet a“If we could be but children, small children
Blessed is He who could make us forget
the distress of our years.
With a long road yet ahead to our becoming,
Becoming older, sadder, and nostalgic.
But rose-souled children
Plucking joy like wildflowers
Whose world is not yet over,
With the sun laughing in the glint of their tears.”~Rachel Bluwstein Sela, known
as Rachel the Poetess

Ran across this poem today as I was reading devotions, and it touched that special chord that rings of truth within me. Aging does tend to take something out of us. Poets like to use metaphors. Simple stories that remind us of some profound truth that we have somehow forgotten. The stories often touch that small part of us that still identifies with the magical – the mystical – the spiritual – that child-like faith.

“And because Yeshua himself knew The Father had given everything into his hands and that he had gone out from God and he would go to God, He arose from supper and put off his robe and took a towel and tied it around his waist.”~Jn 13:3-4

Did you ever notice all the small stories and metaphors that are used in the Bible? People love stories. It starts when we are children with storybooks and continues throughout our lives: TV’s – movies – books – plays – even our music. God used stories in the Old Testament. Rabbi Yeshua knew a good thing when He saw it and Last often taught using metaphors and small stories when he taught as well.

“He took water in a wash basin and began to wash the feet of his disciples, and he wiped them with a towel which he had tied around his waist….” ~Jn 13:5

It is this part of the story that catches my breath in my throat. Did the discripes truely realize who was kneeling in front of them…..washing their feet? If it was me, would I? I fear that I would not have been so wise. Such symbolism in this simple act – such a strong metaphor that continues to bless the world with its intense visual – the Bridegroom washing away the physical dirt of His bride before His blood spiritually washes away the dirtiness of her soul.

“Do you know what I have done to you?” You call me, ‘our Rabbi’ and ‘Our Lord’, and you say rightly, for I am. If I therefore, your Lord and your Rabbi, have washed your feet for you, how much more ought you to wash one another’s feet? For I have given you this example, that you also should do in the same way as I have done to you.Timeless truth I speak to you: there is no servant greater than his master and no apostle is greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Jn 13:12-17

A child would have known. A child understands the story better than any adult. A ‘rose-souled [child], plucking joy like wildflowers whose world is not yet over, with the sun laughing in the glint of [her] tears‘. Perhaps…maybe…possibly today, my childish self would recognize my LORD as He kneels at my feet. For today, I have laid another foundational stone. Understanding the LOVE of my LORD, FREEDOM from sin as He washed my feet, KINGDOM comes in its fullness of His righteousness and His PEACE surrounding each stone I have laid .

[google images]maundy thursday

 

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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/

Commandment Series: Improper Worship

10-commandmentsThe Holy Spirit was breathing on our church last Sunday.  It didn’t surprise me; this past year I have often felt the Spirit moving around lots of places.  Sometimes in the most unexpected places.  But Sunday was beyond my experiences, and I am still thinking about it.

Usually when I go to church, I like to try to soak everything that I can into myself.  Since I started teaching, church has been my reservoir.  Raising kids at home and giving as much as I could to my “kids” at school, usually left me depleted.  Sunday was my long drink of water…my “go to church” and “stare at the cross” day – or maybe – if they could talk me into it – sing a solo or direct the children’s choir on special occasions day. I have always tended to think of myself as a “closet prayer/worship” kinda person.  Somewhere along the way, I took Jesus’s words pretty seriously about praying privately.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. …”  Matt 6:5-6 

But as I said, this past Sunday was different.  It was our first communion service in our new church, and I was wondering how this would go in such a huge church.  Small churches are my thing.  I like them because there is intimacy when I kneel at the alter and time to tarry if I wanted to pray a little longer.  However, God is no respecter of small or large churches.  When a space opens that lets Him in, He moves.  Suddenly, during the song the choir was singing, I found myself on  my feet.  My hands raised.  My voice lifted in praise.  As the song went on, more and more worshipers stood and sang as well.  You’ve got to understand – this isn’t me.  I don’t do things like this.  But Sunday – I did.  Pen on floor.  Bible no longer on my lap.  Brain and heart filled with God. The Holy Spirit had me on my feet, and I don’t remember thinking about it……..at all.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and  fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Ex 20:3-5

In Jewish tradition, the 2nd commandment is Ex 20:3-6.  That’s the thing about the 10 commandments.  Actually, Jewish wisdom says there are 613 commandments while the 10 commandments handed to Moshe on Mt. Sinai are considered categories.  Also, since not all religions have the same ones, I have gone with the Jewish tradition that, I think, Rabbi Yeshua would have been taught.  Commandment 1 already said no idols, so in Jewish tradition, the 2nd commandment deals with “Improper Worship”.  No idols – no graven images – no likenesses of beasts, animals, fish or anything of the earth – for there is only one God.  Don’t worry about the fashion idol, the “I-belong-to-the-hip-church idol”, best choir idol…(you got it, right?)  God is unique and beyond our understanding.  He is Jehovah-Shammah when we worship Him because He changes us to our core with His love, forgiveness and grace.

Worship leads us to His kingdom…brings His joyful, eternal kingdom a little closer to our painful, finite kingdom. So…is it really so hard to follow His second commandment?

“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB