Saturday, March 22, 2008

Losing Jesus

Last night, at the Good Friday service, I was struck by a sense of loss! I felt like I'd been spending the past couple of months, give or take, following Jesus around, listening to what He had to say, thinking about His message and celebrating everything He means to us. And here I was, at a sort of wake, thinking about His death, thinking about Him saying goodbye.

The passage in John, the long goodbye, kept flashing into my mind and I just really felt the "don't leave us" sadness of it all!

So, thinking in that vein, Saturday must have been truly awful for the disciples! Emptiness, loneliness, grief.

When I first heard this song by Bryan Duncan, maybe 20 years ago?, I was struck by that same sense of grief and sadness. It seems appropriate today...

Love You with My Life

I would like to say
Just before I leave you
I'll be back some day
And with me I will take you
So do not be afraid
Only watch and pray
And wait for my return

I've done what I must do
My work here is completed
It's all been done for you
Believe what I have stated
I will give you peace
Through all your tribulations
Until I come again

Please know that I love you
I'll stay by your side
If only now in spirit
I'll still be your guide
You will not suffer long
For I have suffered for you
I love you with my life

I'll prepare a place
Where we can live together
I'll meet you face to face
To share our new forever
Don't let your love grow cold
And I will not allow
What's more than you can bear

Please know that I love you
I'll stay by your side
If only now in spirit
I'll still be your guide
You will not suffer long
For I have suffered for you
I love you with my life

Love you with my life,
love you with my life,
love you with my life

Love you with my life,
love you with my life,
love you with my life, ....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Five for Good Friday

From RevGalBlogPals...

Our worship today will differ from place to place. Some services will focus on the great litany of prayers. Others will use the seven last words of Jesus. Some of us will walk the stations of the cross. Others will participate in a Tennebrae service of shadows and light.

I hope that this Friday Five will be a meaningful part of your Good Friday. God's blessings to you on your journey.

1) Our prayer concerns are as varied as we are this day. For whom would you like us to pray?

Well, my son and I are both feeling a little bit under the weather these past few days. If it weren't for the Good Friday service, I would probably not leave the house. I'd appreciate prayer for both of us.

2) Are there things you have done or will do today to help the young ones understand this important day in our lives?

My son and I have been reading and discussing the appropriate stories in his children's Bible. The thought of Jesus being killed is upsetting to him. He has been trying to read things himself as much as he can, but he handed that story to me to read because he didn't want to read it.

3) Music plays an important part in sharing the story of this day. Is there a hymn or piece of music that you have found particularly meaningful to your celebrations of Good Friday?

This guitar piece is really beautiful!

I like Amy Grant's version, too, but couldn't find it.

I did find "Emmanuel" and Jonathan and I sang that with great enthusiasm!

4) As you hear the passion narrative, is there a character that you particularly resonate with?

I can relate to Jesus. There are some things you feel you have to do that you really, really would rather not. OTOH, if I were Him, I would have changed my mind completely and said, "what was I thinking?". So it's a good thing I'm not! :)

It reminds me a little of praying out loud in front of people. I've been in groups where I felt like God was telling me to say something. And there have been times when I just didn't do it. Then, within minutes, someone else did.

If I were in Jesus's position, approaching Good Friday, we'd all be waiting to see who else God would bring along.

I always end up in awe that He was willing to go through with it!

5) Where have you seen the gracious God of love at work lately?

Everywhere! Just last night, I was staring at the moon and as always, I felt soothed and comforted.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Worry pretends to be necessary!" ...

"But it serves no useful purpose."

This is a quote from Eckhart from last night's webinar with Oprah. I quite agree and it's one of those bad habits that can creep back in when you're sure you've banished it forever!

For the past few years, I've been eliminating worry by replacing worry thoughts with more positive ones. That has worked amazingly well! But worry thoughts do still tempt me from time to time.

I also liked what Eckhart said about complaining. It doesn't do any good whatsoever, but it does reinforce the feeling or conviction of being right at the expense of whoever has been declared wrong. I think wrong-making is most tempting to me when it comes to my son and his character.

I so want him to be kind and loving. And when he is unkind, I don't just say it's unkind (like Eckhart's point about stating a fact: "the soup is cold"), I make him wrong. And perhaps that's because of some avoided awareness of unkindness in myself. I've actually worked on that issue because it's so important to me, so the whole thing definitely is worth exploring a bit more.

One thing I think Eckhart fails to address is the possibility of healing!

We have conditioned responses and beliefs because of unhealed wounds, cellular memories that are buried alive within us. They can be healed, and when they are we move closer to our essence, to being who we truly are.

A Heaven of Memories

We've been taking a look at the Easter stories and while I was reading my own Bible, my son got out his children's collection.

"Mommy, I think I found another prayer we can say!"

And then, he read it to me...

Our Father who is in Heaven
Holy is your name,
May your Kingdom come,
May your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us our food each day,
Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
As we forgive the wrongs others have done to us.
Do not let us be tempted to do wrong.
But save us from evil.

As he stumbled over a few of the words, I continued to surprise him by being able to guess what that next word might be :).

"How did you know that?"

So adorable!

There are so many wonderful, precious moments like that that I wish I could somehow record so I could take them out in the years to come and enjoy them again and again. I do that, of course, as often as I can. But there are some moments you just can't take a picture of.

Now if I was the one designing heaven, that's one of the things I would fill it with--a widescreen, high-definition recording of every wonderful memory, great and small. The look on his face, the childish giggle, the sweet smile, the feel of an enthusiastic hug!

They'd all be there to watch and listen to over and over again.