Friday, March 29, 2013

He's Alive (Part 2)

He's Alive
Mary Magdalene sees the Lord, Jesus Christ

Introduction: This story is a fictional account of Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11 and John 20:1-18. It is told through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, who along with three other women go to anoint the body of Jesus. For these women, this was an act of devotion and love. As a Christian, I realize that while Palm Sunday leads me to Calvary and the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus, Easter is the revelation of His glorious resurrection and the reality that He Lives! This story now concludes with Part 2.

Part 2:
Slowly, Joanna and Mary awoke and dressed. Usually, they were quite talkative but this morning, none of us said anything worthy of discussion. Joanna always had something to say about Chusa and his work for Herod. Mary is a proud mother of both James and Mark, as is Salome, mother of two disciples of Jesus. Sometimes, we would laugh and joke as most women did, other times we would talk about family, but more often we would discuss what Jesus said and meant to each of us. This morning, we are all silent. We watched Jesus hanging for hours on that cross; finally, he uttered words I shall never forget:

It is finished.

The words haunt me, echoing in my mind, again and again. Why did he have to die? Perhaps, I didn’t understand His purpose. I remember him saying on the way to Jerusalem,

We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!

Salome interrupted my thoughts with a question:

Do we have enough sweet spices?

I think so,” answered Joanna.

Having gathered all the spice we could carry, we left the house and silently walked toward the tomb.

As we walked, Salome asked a question none of us previously considered,

What about the stone in front of the tomb? How will we move it?

Perhaps we can ask the soldiers or some of the disciples if they are there.

Why would any of the disciples be there Joanna when they all fled once they arrested Jesus?

I didn’t want to think about obstacles, moving stones, fearful disciples, acts of cowardice or anything else, I just wanted to anoint his body this one last time.

We will find someone to help,” I said.

Finally, we arrived, but to my surprise, the stone was rolled away from the tomb. I stood outside as Salome, Joanna and the other Mary walked inside the tomb.

Mary spoke first, “His body isn’t here!

I could hear Salome scream, “They’ve taken his body!

I ran from the tomb to tell the disciples.

Inside the tomb, the others saw two men, whose appearance illuminated with a brilliant light. The three of them bowed low to the ground as the two men spoke,

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!

Salome wondered how it is possible to rise from the dead.

The three of them became so frightened that they fled to their homes.

I arrived to find Peter and John.

They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!

Immediately, Peter and John ran to the tomb; John arrived first to see the body was gone just as I said. John looked inside but would not go in. When Peter arrived, he walked inside the tomb, examining the strips of linen and the burial cloth which was used to cover the head of Jesus. John then entered the tomb but both he and Peter had a perplexed expression on their faces. Neither they nor I fully understood what took place. The two of them decided to go back home and left me at the entrance of the tomb crying.

I heard something inside the tomb and decided to take a look. There were two men sitting where I last saw the body of Jesus.

One of the men asked me, “Why are you crying?

They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.

Suddenly, I could feel the presence of someone behind me and as I turned, there was Jesus standing; but for some reason, I did not recognize him. He seemed familiar in a way that I cannot explain; hearing his voice brought comfort to me.

Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?

For some reason, it occurred to me that perhaps he was the gardener; if he was, I thought he would surely know.

Sir, if you have carried away the body of Jesus, please tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.

It occurred to me that I could not possibly retrieve the body of Jesus by myself. Who would I ask to help me return him to the tomb? As questions poured over my mind, the man spoke one simple word to me,

Mary.

Immediately, I knew whose voice it was that spoke. I turned and cried out,

Teacher!

I wanted to hold him and never let go. In that moment, I realized Jesus is alive, he is standing in front of me! As I extended my arms toward him, he spoke.

Do not hold on to me, I have not yet returned to my Father. Go to my brothers, tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

The emotions I felt were overwhelming. Earlier, I felt great sadness and now, I experienced such tremendous joy. I ran with purpose to tell each of the disciples the good news; that I have seen the Lord, He’s Alive!

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays

Friday, March 22, 2013

He's Alive (Part 1)

Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene's encounter with Jesus Christ

Introduction: This story is a fictional account of Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11 and John 20:1-18. It is told through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, who along with three other women go to anoint the body of Jesus. For these women, this was an act of devotion and love. As a Christian, I realize that while Palm Sunday leads me to Calvary and the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus, Easter is the revelation of His glorious resurrection and the reality that He Lives! This story will conclude next week with Part 2.

Part 1:
It was still early morning, the sun, yet to rise and signal a new day. I looked out the window and saw only darkness. I turned to see the women still asleep. There was Mary, the mother of James and Mark, Salome, the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John, and Joanna, the wife of Chusa, Herod’s steward.

We were all tired and exhausted from our sorrows as we watched Christ hang for hours on the cross. Our cries for a merciful end to his suffering went unanswered.

Why did one innocent man have to endure so much?

I felt a sense of relief when Joseph came and took his body from the cross. I watched as he wrapped Jesus in cloth and used all 75 pounds of spices he bought. The tomb where they laid his body was unused and would be a safe, secure place of rest for his body.

I thought back to the first time I met Jesus. People said that I was possessed with seven demons but thinking back, it seems such a distant memory now. I was so confused, my mind unable to focus on anything. I remember often hearing laughter as I passed by the faceless people on the street; the constant sound of voices in my head shouting for attention. I have no memory of my childhood, my mother or father; there was no one who valued my life. I now see how even in my misery, God was watching over my life. Though I did not know it at the time, God really has a purpose for me.

Jesus revealed my purpose to me!

Although I was tormented daily by these voices, I somehow managed to follow the crowd to hear Him speak that day. It was as if something was compelling me, so I moved closer and closer until I was standing before Jesus. I listened to Him speak, watched Him heal many, but the voices inside my mind sought to cry out against Him.

I felt this need to flee from His presence, but I couldn’t move. I was afraid, confused and awed as He looked upon me. It was as though He could see inside me; knowing my complete life and struggles, down to the smallest detail.

His voice spoke with authority as He called the demons out from me and finally, I was free; I vowed never to leave His presence. I joined the other women who accompanied Him, aiding to support Him and The Twelve from our own means.

I see you are awakened, Mary.

It was Salome’s voice speaking as she stood up stretching her arms upward. She gently moved to wake Joanna and the other Mary.

Come now, we must hurry to the tomb before the sun rises and prepare the Lord’s body…

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Friday, March 15, 2013

Goodness of the Lord

Goodness of the Lord
The Goodness of the Lord

This week I am reflecting on the goodness of the Lord. I try not to take Him for granted, but I must admit there are times when I’m swept away into the so-called complexities of my life. Life can get hectic and stressful but I need to remember that my life is in God’s hands; in Him I have placed my trust.

A couple sits at home; they’ve got no food to eat. The husband takes the hand of his wife and begins to pray. A knock at the door and to their surprise it’s someone they met months ago in church. The visitor is holding a large box of groceries, telling the couple that while praying the Holy Spirit prompted him to bring food to them.

A young girl afflicted with Leukemia lies at home; her parents are at a loss because they lack the funds to pay for an experimental treatment. They wonder how they can raise six hundred thousand dollars. Someone familiar with their dilemma mentions it on Facebook and in less than one week, the funds arrive and the little girl is flown to Philadelphia to undergo treatment.

A young woman requires brain surgery in Germany; she hears about the little girl with Leukemia and gives all her funds to help. Others stepped up and give the needed funds so she can fly to Germany and have her surgery.

Some would say, “This was accomplished through the kindness and generosity of many” but I would say, “Many were moved by the Spirit of God to help.

The bible says that we should, “Give honor to whom honor [is due].” (Romans 13:7, KJV)

Is it so difficult to say,God is good”?

It’s easy to recognize the miracles that happen around us but too often we fail to recognize the things that happen daily in our life:
  1. Waking to the dawn of a new day
  2. Those with jobs, the ability to work
  3. Those in school, the opportunity to acquire education
  4. Those in ministry, the desire to serve
  5. Those who are married, the opportunity to discover the true meaning of love
For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28, NIV)

It is through the goodness and grace of God that we live, we exist, we function in this life; God is good.
written by MTJ


A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays

Friday, March 8, 2013

Faith in God


Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Yesterday, due to the predicted snowfall, I was informed that I didn’t need to drive to work.

Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow!

I turned on the radio and heard a man was talking about different types of Christians. As I listened to him give an opinion on what a “true Christian” is, I wondered how a person’s faith morphed into one’s material possessions.

A sick Christian lacks faith in God?

A poor Christian has little to no faith in God?

A well-dressed Christian has tremendous faith in God?

The kind of car a Christian drives reveals their faith in God?

Really?

Christ was asked by His disciples about a blind man:

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, said Jesus, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:1-3, NIV)

Somehow we Christians began to equate materialism with salvation; the more prosperous you are, the greater your faith in God.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45, NIV)

Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism…” (Acts 10:34, NIV)

God blesses whom He will bless. Can my faith entitle me to fashionable clothes?

This kind of philosophy condemns those who are sick, poor, unemployed, homeless, or otherwise lacking prosperity.

It teaches the premise that; My current status in life is directly linked to my faith (or lack of faith) in God.

How is this any different than teaching that I need Christ to die again for my sins?

Joe, a Born-again Christian is informed that due to a drop in the quarterly sales, his company must lay him off. He goes home and tells his wife Margaret, who immediately surmises that due to a lack of faith in God; his name was added to the Layoff List instead of the Keep Employed List.

I think we Christians should be careful whom we condemn and who we exalt.

Answers to my prayer are within the sovereignty of Almighty God. How God answers my prayer is solely up to Him; my faithful responsibility is to trust Him, no matter what He decides.

written by MTJ

A Note of Thanks: I would just like to say that I appreciate each of you who visit My Thought-filled Journey. Taking time out of your schedule to read a post on this blog is encouraging to me. Many of those who visit, will from time to time leave a comment. Whether a comment is left is not important. What is important, is that you came. I do hope you find encouragement and inspiration in these words. Please know I will pray with you regarding any circumstance you may be facing. Feel free to write me to say "Hello", request prayer, or share what God is doing in your life. I have not said it enough, but thank you for the light of Chist in your life which illuminates the way for us all.

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Friday, March 1, 2013

Joy

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12, NIV)



Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays