Category Archives: Journey through Lent 2020

Holy Week 2020 Sunday Best. Day. Ever.

The final day of Holy Week and we have already had texts from many friends proclaiming He IS Risen!! 

Social media posts by brothers and sisters in Christ repeat these words with various photographs and graphics. 

A simple phrase that may seem repetitive but for those who have died to live in Him, it is beautiful every single time. 

We do not grow tired of it but instead our souls burst with joy and we respond either in the spirit or verbally or today….in typed words and emojis…He is RISEN indeed! 

As I read the familiar passages this morning of women making their way through the first light of dawn, it occurred to me the familiarity Jesus would have had of being there in the garden in the wee hours of the morning. 

He had often slipped way to lonely places to pray, we are told; and this morning He was waiting for them with the biggest surprise of not only their lives, but all of eternity. 

It was His custom to be there alone with His Father, and there He was that blessed morning. 

He showed up walking along the path with two men returning home and then sat down to eat dinner with them.

For Thomas He provided a visual and tactile experience to meet him in his doubts.

Days later He would restore Peter in the familiar place of a fishing trip. 

He meets each of us in a personal way that we can understand. 

He knows us and loves us so intimately that He makes Himself accessible to do the extraordinary in the most ordinary places of our lives. 

He is risen…He is alive…He fulfills His promises to us.

He is faithful. 

He is gracious. 

He is compassionate. 

He is truth. 

He is powerful.

Look for Him in the places that are common to you.

Seek Him and He will find you … yes…I know it is He will be found, but trust me…all who seek Him will find Him because He will always be the one who was looking for us.

He is the same…yesterday…today…forever <3

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Holy Week 2020 Saturday

It is the quietest day of Holy Week. 

As I ponder the scene and think about what it was like for the followers and disciples of Jesus the morning after the crucifixion, I picture them raw and hurting and bewildered. 

Peter is running back over the swift turn he made from vowing to die right beside Jesus to denying Him vehemently just hours later and a few feet away from where He was being tried in a one-sided courtroom. 

And I can certainly identify with the kicking oneself and the shame that comes after denying Christ out of fear of association.

I think of the women and John who had stood by the cross all day and who had witnessed His agony and humiliation. Helpless but unable to leave Him alone. 

I think of how, as a mother I have winced and felt the sting on my own knee when one of our children’s tender skin collided with the rough pavement, as children are prone to do. 

And I can well imagine Mary and the women who had tended Him out of a motherly love were aching inside and worn thin from what they had seen.

I can imagine Joseph and Nicodemus, with smeared blood still on their clothes from lifting His beaten body onto soft cloths and wrapping Him. I wonder if their arms and legs ached a bit from the labor of hurrying to get Him safely buried before the sun had set on the Sabbath.

I think of them observing this day of Sabbath rest, confined to inactivity while their hearts and minds and spirits tried to figure out what to do now. 

They had given up everything to follow Him and now He was gone. 

So they waited. 

They waited for what, to the best of their knowledge, was the next thing they could do. 

Today we are housebound again here in our world. We are going about the usual Saturday things knowing we have no other choices or options and it changes things. 

I can feel the weight of our own canceled plans and unmet expectations today..though certainly not of the epic scale of what the disciples were facing and how their disappointment would turn into the salvation of the world…goodness knows. 

But I can use these feelings of uncertainly and living in the in between to imagine how they would have felt on that day as they tried to comfort one another and yet all hope seemed lost. 

They were men and women just like you and me. 

They had questions and concerns and were trying hard to remember what He had taught them so they could hold on to this man they had loved and cared for and listened to and chosen to follow. 

In the quiet of this day, let’s consider in our own hearts the places where it may seem hope is lost…and let’s keep our eyes firmly on the promise we are blessed to know in our life times…

Sunday is coming <3

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Holy Week 2020 Friday

Good morning friends

I am writing to you on this Good Friday 2020 with the sun streaming in strong and showing all the dusty places around our furniture…but it is deceptive because outside the temperatures are hovering just above freezing. 

Good Friday is always an unusual day for a Christian, or so it has been for me. We go about the events of living out our fairly normal routine – maybe a holiday from work and school – but still chores to be done and such…yet always in the shadow of remembering the events of the Crucifixion. 

Growing up, my mom instilled in us the ability to live in this side by side world and I am rather grateful for it. 

She would remind me throughout the day that this was a great day of pain for my Lord and while we were usually visiting family and preparing for the big Easter celebration, we carried with us an attitude of respect and reverence over it all. 

We would have given up something we like during Lent and we would have eaten non-meat dishes on Fridays as part of our observance so, of course, this was held to on the most important Friday of the forty days. 

I remember once we were visiting her family in Louisville and were downtown on Good Friday. We passed a sandwich place that had a display of Sub sandwiches in the window and this was long before Jimmy John’s was even a blip on the radar. 

To my eyes that beautiful loaf of yummy carbs loaded up with an assortment of deli meat and fresh sliced cheeses looked quite appealing and my mom agreed and then reminded me….it was Friday. A very important Friday. And maybe we could get one of those another day but not today. And we walked on by.

But we never went back and we never got one. 

I have eaten many a good sandwich (and salads and soups and entrees and desserts), but that sandwich I never ate is one of my most highly remembered meals. 

It has stuck with me over the years as a reminder that I am surrounded with a surplus of so much to feed my flesh that if I do not intentionally deny myself of these things…my spirit will starve to death. 

God doesn’t need me to do without. 

But I do. 

He graciously provides for all of my needs, but I am forgetful and egocentric. 

I can take all that I have been given for granted or I can begin to err in thinking I both earned them and deserve them. 

Good Friday is a stark reminder that I brought nothing but my sin and brokenness to God’s table and He welcomed me. 

He offered His own body broken and His own blood to be poured out for the forgiveness and canceling of my sin and the sin of the whole world.

So on this day, even as I am surrounded by so much, I will choose to do my best to intentionally live in a way that honors His death. 

I pray any sincere act that I offer will be a pleasing gift of worship before Him. 

As I have been encouraging throughout Holy Week on my daily posts to open God’s word, I would suggest taking time today to meditate on the following passages:

Matthew 27: 32-56

Mark 15: 21-47

Luke 23: 26-55

John 19: 16-42

May the Lord speak to your hearts today to understand how dearly loved you are by Him who died for you. 

I pray you hear His voice speaking directly to each of you in the way you best understand and know Him.  

Laura <3

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