Whatever is Pure - Easter 2009
Can I bind myself to that naked stake
Do roses bloom without a brier
How can I embrace the One
© Kristine Lowder
Isaiah 53:3-83 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Master, you came to show the way but many did not follow You.
Master, you prayed till the early dawn as we lay fast asleep
Peter, the time has come for me to die, just like the Father has said.
But the anguish and pain, the ache in my heart
Now all's been done and they've killed the One
Mary came to our house one day
Then, suddenly, there appeared to me
Such joy had come into this heart of mine !
He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
Luke 24:1-3, 9, 11-12
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
The Third Day
We nailed Christ to a curse conceived in hell,
Engulfed by death He gave a final cry,
Next morning Jesus was yesterday’s news,
But on the third day Christ rose from the dead,
Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
16Jesus said to her, "Mary."
17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
2 Corinthians 4:13-15
13It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
He Called Out To Us Long Before We Called Out To Him
C.S. Lewis's marvellous series, "The Chronicles of Narnia", introduced me to Eustace, whose life-changing experiences were described in detail in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". Through his own personal encounters with Aslan and through observing those further along in their relationship with the great lion, the once stubborn, obnoxious, self-centered lad grew in his faith and his desire to please the one who had set him free from the prison of his own making.
As I read the beginning chapters of the subsequent book in the series, "The Silver Chair", I easily related to Eustace's struggle to put his newfound faith into action. What seemed so clear in Narnia now appeared cloudy and uncertain in Eustace's everyday world. Yet, when push came to shove, Eustace instinctively knew whom to call upon in times of trouble and he let his friend Jill in on the exciting secret. Soon after, the two friends literally found their backs against the wall and faced immediate great harm.
Jill soon finds herself alone, standing before the great Lion himself, being commissioned into a specific task that he had appointed for her and a task to which he had called her into his country to fulfill. Confused, Jill wonders if she is the victim of mistaken identity. After all, it was she and Eustace who had done the calling and Aslan had done the answering, the open door being the evidence.
Aslan replies. “You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion. (p. 19 The Silver Chair)
If Jill had any preconceived ideas that her journey in Aslan's world would be safe and secure in comparison to the world she left behind, she was sadly mistaken. Peril, floods, kidnapping, deception and cruelty lay before her. When the darkest testings and trials came her way, she found reassurance in knowing that Aslan had done the calling and that he who had the power to call her from darkness into the light held the same power to deliver her whenever she called upon his name. As long as she stayed true to Aslan's directives, she would be protected from real harm and she would triumph in the end.
It is comforting, the realization in knowing that God called out to me long before I called out to Him. He, who knows my heart and my frailties, called me first into relationship with him, and then commissioned me into his service. My salvation and the success in serving Him are not dependent on any inherent goodness within me, nor in my ability to follow protocol or any other extraordinary talent or skill I might possess. It is He who initiated his relationship with me as His child. It is He who causes all things to work together for good.
Romans 8:28-30 (NLT) "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory."
Romans 8:35-39 (NLT) "Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Please note: All graphics and articles within this site are ©2012 Katherine Walden unless otherwise stated.
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