Tag Archive: sacrifice


Today, Good Friday…

Growing up Catholic, I never truly understood all of the “celebrations” around Easter time. 

Let’s see, it starts with Ash Wednesday; you know, that terribly spiritual ritual of smearing the ashes from last year’s burnt palm fronds on your forehead…and the four prayers expressing what those ashes symbolize:

1. “To be a spiritual help for all who confess their sins.
2. To secure pardon of sins for those who receive the ashes.
3. To give us the spirit of contrition.
4. To give us the grace and strength to do penance.”  ~ fisheaters.com

Which, of course, would result in eternal damnation should you attempt to rub them off:

“They are a public witness to those things our society does not wish to embrace: the reality of death, penance for sin, and the hope of resurrection in Our Lord, Jesus Christ.”  ~ fisheaters.com

Leading into the 40 days of Lent, where you must give something up that you can’t live without, and eat fish:

“The focus of this Season is the Cross and penance, penance, penance as we imitate Christ’s forty days of fasting, like Moses and Elias before Him, and await the triumph of Easter. We fast; abstain, mortify the flesh, give alms, and think more of charitable works. Awakening each morning with the thought, ‘How might I make amends for my sins? How can I serve God in a reparative way? How can I serve others today?’ is the attitude to have.
We also practice mortifications by “giving up something” that would be a sacrifice to do without, and it can entail, too, taking on something unpleasant that we’d normally avoid, for example, going out of one’s way to do another’s chores, performing ‘random acts of kindness,’ etc.”
  ~ fisheaters.com

There’s Palm Sunday…the spiritual day you bring palm fronds home to braid:

“Today is the memorial of Christ’s ‘triumphant,’ but misunderstood, entry into Jerusalem, the day that begins Holy Week. This entry into Jerusalem is seen as the prophetic fulfillment of Zacharias 9:9-10.”   ~ fisheaters.com

And Good Friday, which I never quite understood how it could possibly be “good” when this poor man was killed on a cross:

“Good Friday is the most somber day of the entire year. A silence pervades, socializing is kept to a minimum, things are done quietly; it is a day of mourning; it is a funeral. The Temple of the Body of Christ is destroyed. Traditional Catholics wear black, cover their mirrors, extinguish candles and any lamps burning before icons, keep amusements and distractions down, and go about the day in great solemnity.”  ~ fisheaters.com

Finally, Easter Sunday!  The day we get to wear a beautiful new outfit, our Easter baskets are stolen, hidden, searched for and found filled with yummy treats, then off to church (for the first of typically two times this year):

“On this, the holiest day of the entire year, Latin Catholics greet each other with the words of Luke 24:34, ‘Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!’ (‘The Lord is risen indeed!’). The person so greeted responds, “Et apparuit Simoni, alleluia!’ (‘And hath appeared unto Simon!’). Catholics may even answer their telephones with this greeting. The Easter table should be adorned with the best of everything — the most beautiful china, a pure, white tablecloth, the best possible wine, flowers (especially pussy willow, lilies, and spring bulb flowers), etc., all with the colors white and gold — symbolizing purity and glory. And we should look our best, too; it is common to buy a new outfit to wear on this day. This custom springs from the idea of ‘newness’ inherent in the entire Season — the new members of the Church baptized at the Vigil in their new Baptismal albs, the New Law, a new life in Christ.”  ~ fisheaters.com

Since my childhood naïveté, I praise God that He has opened my eyes and given me understanding.  Easter is about Christ’s death and resurrection, not what we can do to make ourselves worthy to accept His sacrifice… or a fictitious magical bunny.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”   Matthew 27:45-54

Christ came, lived a perfect life, died in my place on a cross, and three days later returned…all so that I might have a way to live in eternity with Him.

Praise Him for that unbelievable, beautiful, and precious gift!

It is a good Friday, indeed.

I cry…

I sing on the worship team at my AMAZING church.  I am blessed that God placed me on, allows me to be part of, and am able to sing praises to Him through that ministry.  However, I tend to get emotional when I sing.  Ok, that’s not true, I get emotional always.  In fact I have a running joke with my pastor that if he would just stop talking about Jesus, I’d be all good.

So…seeing as how this Sunday is Easter Sunday, and because sermons tend to be about Jesus on Easter Sunday, I am seriously considering tear duct removal.  Especially during the worship set.  We will be singing a new song:  “Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him With Many Crowns.”  Oh my word, I have YET to make it through without making that horrific-scrunched-up-overt-your-eyes-this-is-going-to-get-ugly cry face.

Just yesterday I was talking to a friend about that song, asking her to pray for strength to get through it, and she responded with: 

“I listened to the CD a lot last night, and had it on YouTube this morning.  And yes, LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that song!!!  I can see why you shed a few tears…but then again…it’s YOU.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!  Honestly, all joking aside… I WISH I could get that choked up over Jesus’ love for me.  I’m SOOO THANKFUL for what He’s done in my life, but I never had the life changing ‘Ah Ha’ moment.  Maybe it’s because I was saved at such a young age…?  Anyway, I wish I had your heart.”

I wrote a story about that exact thing a while ago now… wondering why more people don’t get choked up.  My daughter, Sydney, at the time told me, “it’s probably because you remember who you used to be and where you came from.”  (Yeah, talk about insight from a 9 year old!)

That’s definitely part of it.  I PRAY for a testimony like my friend’s for all of my kids.  I long for them to live a Psalm 119 life – without regret and to know and walk closely with Christ their entire life.  I do know I wouldn’t be who I am today, had I understood His sacrifice early on.

I have heard it said, “it is easier for a child to perceive and receive spiritual truth than an adult to do so.”  That’s where my tears come from… the fact that I could’ve missed it.

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”   Romans 2:5

I was like so many… I loved myself so much that I didn’t care about God, didn’t want Him in my life, and didn’t think I needed Him.  I am so grateful that God called, allowed me to hear and understand Him, and especially that He waited patiently and continued to call!

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”   2 Peter 3:9

My friend does have a heart like mine…she has just had it longer.

I Cry God

Why don’t more people cry at church?  Especially those who know Jesus personally?

I can’t get through a song, much less a sermon about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for me, without a tear.

Ok, that’s an under-exaggeration. 

I lose it when I think about what Jesus has saved me from.  I don’t just shed a tear or two, I sob.  And it’s not like those fortunate souls who look all beautiful; tears glistening down their cheeks and a grateful smile on their face…

No, I look more like the elephant man; face deformed and puckered up, chin wobbly, body shaking, long trailing mascara tears resting in pools under my eyes, silvery unbreakable strings of snot…

and not a tissue in sight.

People so often embrace me and lovingly ask if I’m ok, if I need anything, wondering what I’m struggling with and how they can help.

Oh what they don’t understand is that I am truly a mess and so unworthy…

“…you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”   Revelation 3:17b

 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;”   Isaiah 64:6a

Each one of those messy, slimy, dirty tears are in grateful adoration of the One who sees past the mascara stains, past the ignorance of my childhood, past the selfishness I harbor…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick…”   Jeremiah 17:9

“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”   Romans 3:12

Oh for the love that my God has displayed for me…

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”   Romans 8:32

For the joy that is so readily available and easily given…

“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”   Jeremiah 31:13b

For the peace He so desperately wants us to enjoy…

“… we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Romans 5:1b

For the forgiveness He wants each of us to feel…

“He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.”   Micah 7:18b

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9

Those messy tears of mine are because I know my Jesus loves me.  I know the muck He pulled me out of and continually goes back to drag me out time and time again. 

 “How many kings stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts?

To romance a world that has torn all apart?

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?”

                                                       –“How Many Kings” by Christian Artist Downhere

Only ONE.

I know the unbelievable and horrific suffering Christ took in my place, and although I may look like a sloppy mess, my soul cries out in admiration and delight.  I NEVER want to take that gift for granted…

…and my God sees it as beautiful.

Powerful YouTube Video

This powerful video illustration presents a creative and artistic worship experience from spoken word poet, Amena Brown. This reverent video illustration recounts Gods plan of salvation for us all:

The Easter message is one that needs to be heard in every season and in every culture. Amena Brown’s poetry and mixture of scripture, combined with the cutting edge video illustration technology will bring you to a point of worship with Almighty God.
http://Jesus.net
http://facebook.com/jesus.net

AMAZING.

WYSO Peru Tour 2018

Follow WYSO'S Youth Orchestra As They Tour Peru

Barefoot Lily Lady

Before I Forget: Sharing my love for God, family, gardens and my sweet Momma

Teach Them

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Marilyn Horton

"The Most Optimistic Woman in the World"

His Holy Temple

2 Corinthians 5:17b "The old has gone, the new is here!"

Damn girl, that's a lot of fattitude

Healthy lifestyler and certified nutjob

Never2late4's Blog

Adventures in procrastination

likeafighterpilot

Working on the Mind, Body, and Spirit

DREADmill Diaries

Because I don't love running but am determined to get these 20 pounds off!

Running With'em

Another boring running blog

Women Writers of the Triad

community | craft | excellence

See Jain Run

striving for non-violence while trit-trotting through the mainstream

voxifit

The Voice of Fitness Blog

If there is any magic in this world...

The world can be amazing when you are slightly … strange!

Ugly Grace

Because sometimes, God's grace in our lives, starts first with an ugly story.

Godly Quotes

for the christian life

Rome Wasn't Built by a Day

Providing unsolicited two-sense and witty commentary since 2012

Michael Wilson's Blog

All things are possible with God

%d bloggers like this: