Holy Week 2022: Maundy Thursday

Today is the day on the church calendar when we pause and reflect on the Last Supper, and the last words of Jesus to His disciples.

A year’s worth of sermons is contained in John 13-17 but this week I have been drawn to just one verse:

[Jesus said] ‘Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.’

John 13:34 PHILLIPS

Read the rest here:  Maundy Thursday

Lenten Reflections: Fasting Neutrality-Living and Dying For the Name of Jesus

When I read the account of Holy Week, I like to think I wouldn’t have denied or deserted Jesus.

But truth is, I deny and desert Him in much less treacherous or troublesome moments nearly every day.

When friends or family challenge my faith or raise issues I’d rather not discuss or present me with challenging moral quandaries I can’t quite pigeon hole into easy black and white resolutions, I will often retreat or remain silent or simply prevaricate.

I’m sometimes unwilling to put my (unimportant) reputation on the line much less my life!

And yet, that’s precisely what Jesus has called me to do.

Deny self or deny Jesus: this is the crux. Remaining neutral is not an option. We have to choose a side….In the small, undocumented details of life, choose Jesus over self and recommit to living cross-ward.

Alicia Britt Chole

He demands my absolute loyalty even while He understands I’m unlikely to give it at all times in all places.

Thank God for abundant and overwhelming grace!

But that does not absolve me of the call.

It does not diminish the obligation.

So for at least today, I’m going to fast neutrality.

I’m going to live twenty-four hours without shirking or hiding or slinking away when life demands I choose.

I will recklessly abandon self-preservation and embrace wholeheartedly the passionate life of a devoted disciple of my Shepherd King.

Lenten Reflections: Welcoming Those Whom Jesus Loves

If I read the Gospels and really put myself in the story, I would have to admit that I may well have wanted to “protect” Jesus from some of those that sought His help and His blessing.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of deciding who might be worthy of God’s time and attention.

The disciples decided Jesus was too busy and too important for children to be brought near. Our gentle Shepherd not only welcomed the little ones but told his followers that they must all become as children.

How often do I undervalue someone else’s Christ encounter because it isn’t expressed in eloquent or even coherent words?

How often do I minimize the power of grace and mercy to change a heart or a life because the changes I expect or want to see aren’t the ones I can observe and fit neatly into categories?

Religious profiling is a thing, y’all.

We tend to interpret others’ experiences in light of our own and the traditions with which we are familiar and comfortable. When someone comes to us with a tale of an authentic spiritual encounter that falls outside those boundaries, it’s easy to dismiss it.

Imagine Moses walking back home after meeting God in the burning bush and trying to explain THAT to those he lived with!

It’s not my place to authenticate or validate how the Lord chooses to work in another person’s life and heart.

As long as what they share is consistent with Scripture I should welcome them as Jesus does.

Whom do we spiritually underestimate? The elderly? The young? The poor? The wealthy? The beautiful? The disabled? What group or class of people would we have turned away from Jesus?….Today ask God to shine His light upon any form of religious profiling in which you are dismissing those Jesus would welcome.

Alicia Britt Chole

This video and song are particularly dear to my heart. William Wilberforce fought for the abolition of slavery in Britain for most of his adult life.

He was considered lots of things-crazy among them-but stayed the course in spite of illness, discouragement and seeming failure because he was convinced God had called him to the task.

Many well-meaning Christians questioned whether or not he had really heard from the Lord.

Hindsight makes it clear they were wrong.

**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**

Holy Week 2019: Maundy Thursday

Today is the day on the church calendar when we pause and reflect on the Last Supper, and the last words of Jesus to His disciples.

A year’s worth of sermons is contained in John 13-17 but this week I have been drawn to just one verse:

[Jesus said] “Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”

John 13:34 PHILLIPS

Read the rest here:  Maundy Thursday

Holy Week Reflections: Be Like Jesus

I want to reach out with the same heart that my Master has for the lost and hurting and lonely and outcast.

I want it to be obvious to Whom I belong.

Today is the day on the church calendar when we pause and reflect on the Last Supper, and the last words of Jesus to His disciples.

A year’s worth of sermons is contained in John 13-17 but this week I have been drawn to just one verse:

[Jesus said] “Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”  John 13:34 PHILLIPS

The Israelites were given circumcision as the sign of the covenant.  The shedding of blood as the mark of belonging.

But Jesus knew His blood would be the final and complete sacrifice required for sin. He knew the debt would be fully paid. And blood would no longer be required.

So a new mark is given, a new seal is declared:  LOVE will be the designation by which others know who belongs to the Father through Christ, His Son.

I look around, and see how far we have fallen from the example and standard Jesus set for those of us who follow Him.

Read the rest here:  Maundy Thursday

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