Praying With Jesus: Good Friday

Today is one of the most important days of the year. It is Good Friday the day Jesus died on the cross. I am always asked by the kids in chapel why is this day called good, when the most terrible thing happened? Here is the answer.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I remember a story told by St Jerome who was an early translator of the Bible. As told by him he went to Jerusalem and Bethlehem for a time of study and prayer and one night he had a dream. In this dream Jesus appeared to him and Jerome gave him everything he had. Jesus did not want those things. Then Jerome gave him all of his money. Jesus did not want that. What would you like? Jerome asked. Jesus replied, “Your sins.”

The day is called ‘good” because we find that Jesus takes our sins upon himself so that we might have the righteousness of God. In ways we do not always understand Jesus became our sin so that we might know the amazing love and grace of God.

Thank you for this day Jesus. For all that you did for me I am amazed by the magnitude of your grace. This day truly is good.

Pastor Dave

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Praying With Jesus: God’s Timing

Can you keep a secret? Can you keep a secret from God? Absolutely not. Jesus knew of this plan and took steps to make sure it did not disrupt his plans.

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. (Luke 22:1-6)

One of the most unusual actions of Jesus, that follows this in the Gospels, is when the disciples on the next day ask where they are going to celebrate the Passover? Jesus tells Peter and John to go into town and they will see a man carrying a water jar, follow him and that will show you where we are going to meet. Prepare everything there. Is there more than one person carrying a jar of water in Jerusalem? Of course, but Jesus does not want to tell the group where they are going to be eating this evening because that would be the perfect place for Judas to tell the guards to come and arrest Jesus. Jesus wants to make sure he has time to wash the disciple’s feet, teach them some last few things, and then most importantly, Institute the Lord’s Supper. That Passover celebration had to happen without interruption, so Judas would later lead the guards to Jesus when they stopped to pray on the Mount of Olives.

Jesus knows the timing of all things. Judas was looking for the first opportunity without the crowds around Jesus and this meal would have been perfect. Some things have to happen in a certain order for God’s will to be done. We always need to remember that when we pray. In life I have had so many prayers answered but not on my timetable. When I have to wait I sometimes wonder and question God. But this passage reminds me that God always has in mind what is needed and important. His knowledge of the future is better than my knowledge of the past. We are often told to live by faith. Today I also want to remind you to pray with faith. Knowing that today, tomorrow and all eternity is in God’s gracious hands.

Thank you Lord, for knowing the timing of all things. Help me to understand your plans for me so that I may grow in faith and trust. Amen.

Pastor Dave

Red Letter Day 46: Wait Upon the Lord

2015 Lent Blog

Saturday, April 4

unnamed(25)Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
(John 11:1-6)

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Red Letter Day 45: I Am Thirsty

2015 Lent Blog

Friday April 3

CrucifixLater, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
(John 19:28)

This saying is one of the seven times we have scriptural accounts of Jesus speaking from the cross. This is the only one of the seven where Jesus speaks about himself. I love it because it reminds me again of the true humanity that Jesus has being a person like us. [Read more…]

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Red Letter Day 44: Not My Will But Thine

2015 Lent Blog

Thursday April 2

Gethsemane 05Jesus withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
(Luke 22: 41-42)

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Red Letter Day 43: Don’t Be Fooled

2015 Lent Blog

Wednesday April 1

unnamed(24)And Jesus told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, `This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” “But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
(Luke 12:16-21)

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Red Letter Day 42: That They May Be One

2015 Lent Blog

Tuesday March 31

group-hands“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
(John 17:18-23)

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Red Letter Day 41: No One Will Take Away Your Joy

2015 Lent Blog

Monday March 30

unnamed(23)Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, `In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
(John 16:19-22)

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Red Letter Day 40: The Stones Will Cry Out

2015 Lent Blog

Sunday March 29

stones“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
(Luke 19:40)

There are times when you want to shout. Jesus said these words on Palm Sunday. Some were criticizing him for the noise his disciples and the huge crowd were making as Jesus entered Jerusalem. They asked Jesus to tell the crowd to stop shouting and cheering and to be quiet. That is when Jesus said these words. Someone or something needs to shout in joy for the Prince of Peace has entered into Jerusalem his destination. [Read more…]

Red Letter Day 39: Just One in a Crowd

2015 Lent Blog

Saturday March 28

unnamed(22)Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)

Jesus spoke these words to a woman who had a bleeding problem. No one could cure her and she thought if only I could touch Jesus’ robe I will be cured. Jesus was walking through a big crowd and suddenly he stopped and asked who touched me?

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