Category Archives: Journey through Lent 2020

Holy Week 2020 Friday

www.laurareimer.net

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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Holy Week 2020 Thursday

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We find ourselves at Maundy Thursday. 

I am surprised at how quickly the week passes given our current state of confinement to our home. It seems just an eye blink ago we were beginning this Holy Week. 

The news this morning had a piece covering how the Jewish community is handling Passover this year and I found it a bit ironic that one rabbi mentioned the important thing was that you just were at home with your family. 

Yes, I believe that would be the point of Passover in the original Jewish tradition. 

On the first Passover…the original Passover that all the other Passovers were set up to commemorate, it was of utmost importance that you were home with your family. 

The ultimate “shelter in place” it would seem. 

Today you might want to review that Passover found in Exodus 12 but for now I will just summarize it. 

The LORD had worked all the plagues He had planned to wield over Egypt and now it was go time. He gave instructions to Moses and Aaron on how the Israelites were to prepare for this event, by first selecting an animal from the flock that would serve as their sacrifice and protection and last meal before making their break from the oppression of those who held them as slaves. 

Side note, and I just love this…if their household was too small to finish off the whole lamb…they were to combine with a neighbor and join together in one place for the meal. Guess that sounds particularly appealing as we are missing the fellowship of our family and friends these days. 

But back to the story…They were to keep the animal in their home for four days and then slaughter it and take some of the blood and spread it over the doorposts of their homes. 

Oh my…we modern folk might cringe at so many aspects of this. We might balk at any animal being killed for food or we may eat meat but certainly want it packaged in nice, presentable plastic wrap and would rather not think of how it got there. 

A few may be hunters or work in the food industry and are accustomed to the messier parts of getting the meat to the table, but death is messy and God wanted His people to understand that the protection they were about to witness would come at a cost of something that had to be sacrificed. 

The blood on the door frames of their houses was not a magic charm. 

It wasn’t the weird fulfillment of a demanding and quirky deity. 

The blood was a sign of faith and obedience for the inhabitants of the house to their God; who had long ago killed his own creation to cover the shame of the first two humans as they made their exodus from His Presence and fellowship. 

It was, unbeknownst to them, more of the unfolding revelation of His plan to send the perfect sacrifice at the perfect time in human history that would, once and for all, provide the way back to His Presence and fellowship. 

“When the LORD passes through to strike Egypt and sees the blood on the lintel and two doorposts, He will pass over the door and not let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you.”

Exodus 12:23

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, His blood covers you. 

Think about it. 

Let that sink into you. 

Read Exodus 12 and then meditate on this 

As they were eating, He took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to the, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is the blood of my covenant, which is poured out for many…” 

Mark 14: 22

His body broken for you. 

His blood shed for you. 

Praise to His name forever <3

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Holy Week 2020 Wednesday

www.laurareimer.net

Since nothing about this season of Lent has gone remotely like we would have thought it would, I am veering a wee bit off of the original plan this morning of sharing something about the last week of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. 

I rather doubt me going off on a tangent will take anyone who knows me by surprise, and if you are new…welcome to my Journey which is constantly taking twists and turns as I follow hard after Jesus. 

A number of years ago there was an impacting internet scenario type story that was floating around. I am talking back when we used aol and had IM messages pop up…waaaaayyy back in the day.

The story that was passed around from friend to friend had to do with a situation in which a virus suddenly was overtaking the world. People were dying in every country and as far as recovery versus death rates, forget it. There was no survival from it. 

Scientists and doctors, so the narrative went, were scrambling to find the antidote and as they did testing, it was discovered that it was found in a very rare blood type. A search ensued for anyone who might have just the right combination of type and antigens and genetic composition for what was needed. 

As all of humanity was subjected to this process, only one was found and it was your son. 

You are asked to imagine that your precious child has the perfect blood type to provide the necessary cure for this disease that will kill all of mankind, but it will take all of his blood and thus his life. 

So obvious was the story, right? 

Far fetched and still, it got the point across. 

Seriously as we read that sitting in front of our small computer screens with the big old tower humming at our side….we got the idea of a disease that is affecting the whole world being a picture of sin but when would the described pandemic of illness ever happen.

And yet, here we find ourselves today in a setting where the scene is playing out like some sensationalized movie plot complete with plenty of politicians and media and every day heroes displayed across our screens.

Oh sure, there is recovery on a larger scale than deaths and for that we are so grateful. But the wild imagination of the original little narrative from by-gone days is now something we don’t have to supply mental pictures for…we are seeing it in live action. 

Of course, the story was supposed to point out the gut-wrenching sacrifice of a parent to give a son to save many lives. It was meant to offer you and I the opportunity as humans to imagine the extravagant cost of the kind of love for other people that would enable you to give up your own child for them. 

That is what Easter is about as we know. 

In my studies this morning I read 1 John 4:9-10

Here is my journaling of this passage:

God revealed His love to us in this way —> He sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 

Love is made up of THIS —> God loved US

Love does not consist of our love for HIM

That is backwards

That is exalting us

No

God loved US and He showed us that love by sending His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  

That is what love is. 

That is what Easter is about. 

The cure for the sin of the whole world could only be found in the Son of God. 

He is the only one who could end our sin problem. 

And He did. 

He gave His life for you and for me. 

We have only one thing to do and that is to receive it. 

So simple and yet we fight to hold onto our independence and our insistence that what we do is far more important than what was done for us. 

Say it with me….

  • Love is not that I first loved God, but that God first loved me. 
  • Love is that before I even knew how to love Him, He loved me. 
  • He did not love me because I was worthy of it. 
  • He loved me because He is love. 
  • It is who He is and what He does. 
  • And He is worthy of all my love in return <3
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