Truth And Reconciliation

I do not call you servants any longer because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends. John 15:12-27  When I was in South Africa two years after it’s first all-race democratic election after decades of sanctioned racial oppression under the apartheid system, I learned that true reconciliation involves both sides giving something up. The apartheid minority had to give up its “blindness” and the oppressed majority had to give up its “sight” in order that they may begin to see one another and fashion a new common vision for its country. Christ gave up his life. As we live into the resurrection, how will we fashion a new vision for our own reconciliation with the Christ? What might we give up in order that others may be reconciled with Christ?

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Blossoms Fall Off

He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.  John 15:1-11

In early May, apple trees are covered in apple blossoms. In order for the blossoms to become apples, they must be cross-pollinated.This means that the pollen must travel from one flower to another before fertilization can occur. Bees are responsible for this essential task. Pollen is made by the stamens of the blossom. When bees travel from blossom to blossom, they collect pollen and drop it from the stamens of one blossom onto the pistils of another blossom. The pollen travels from the sticky tips of the pistils—called the stigma—down a long tube called the “style,” and enters the ovary. It is at this point that fertilization occurs and ovules within the ovary become apple seeds. After the seeds develop, the petals from the blossoms fall off. Pruning is necessary for good health to prevent decay, to promote strength of its structure and stimulate it’s growth. As a perennial, apple trees bloom each spring and do not die in winter. The tree is always alive and active. With the living Christ as our true vine, the beauty of the blossom has its purpose, but it’s the fruit that continually feeds God’s people. By his pruning we know that we are loved.

Image Credit: Google Image

No Time For Hibernating

I will not leave you orphaned…  In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live you also live.  John 14: 18-31  Some might say that the problem with the world today is the inability to see Christ. Yet, how does one see Christ when we struggle to see one another? I believe or life in the resurrection requires that we see one another by disciplining our minds (1Peter 1:13-25) to act; to respond to one another in love. But we can not respond in love if we do not recognize that all life is created by the one true God. It’s unfortunate that all life is not influenced by His Holy Spirit. As Christ lives in us, we must not hibernate in the blessing of our salvation. A resurrected life is an active life influenced by the knowledge and love of Christ in order that others may see. The things of the world certainly don’t make this easy, but then we don’t live for the glory of the world. We live for the glory of God and the hope that is in a resurrected life in Christ. If the world does not see Christ, what might they be seeing in us?

An “All Night” God

The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. the Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.  Exodus 14:21-31  How phenomenal is that! Some would say it’s hardly believable. Yet, if we fast forward to today, with faith in God as our protector (1Peter 1:3-5), has he not caused those same “waters of destruction” to be divided in order that we may see our way through to the other side of whatever threatens to destroy? What others see or use as a deterrent, God uses for his glory! It’s nice to be on the side of the Lord, who in ways that not even the angels can see, works “all night,” never sleeps and never slumbers (Psalm 121), to prepare every passage in this journey that now leads beyond the cross to life in the resurrection, a living hope through the Gospel of Christ.

Resurrection

He is risen indeed!

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable. 

One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made. 

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you….

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
   and all flesh will bless his holy name for ever and ever.   Psalm 145:1-10, 22

True Love Lives

 

Resurrection

He is risen indeed!

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.

who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who spread out the earth on the waters,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;
who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures for ever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures for ever…  
Psalm136

True Love Lives

 

Resurrection

He is risen indeed!

Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
   his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its Maker;
   let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
   making melody to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
   he adorns the humble with victory.   Psalm 149

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Resurrection

He is risen indeed!

The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us;
   he will bless the house of Israel;
   he will bless the house of Aaron;
he will bless those who fear the Lord,
   both small and great.

May the Lord give you increase,
   both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
   who made heaven and earth. 

The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,
   but the earth he has given to human beings.
The dead do not praise the Lord,
   nor do any that go down into silence.
But we will bless the Lord
   from this time on and for evermore.
Praise the Lord!      Psalm 115:12-18

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Resurrection

He is risen indeed!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
   and all that is within me,
   bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
   and do not forget all his benefits
who forgives all your iniquity,
   who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
   who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalm 103:1-5

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Resurrection

He is risen indeed!

The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
   the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
   your throne is established from of old;
   you are from everlasting.  Psalm 93

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