Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tears for my friend

It's hard to concentrate too much this week. I'm writing with tears on my face.
 I keep thinking about Jesus dying.

 And how his friends, who said they loved him, fell asleep when he asked them to pray with him.

I get sleepy praying, too.

I keep picturing Jesus, when they came to arrest him. Honestly, I think I want him to run away. Or destroy all the soldiers with fire from Heaven.

I imagine Jesus accepting a kiss from his friend who betrayed him. A friend who said he loved him, and betrayed him with a kiss.

I think I might be that friend.
And now I'm crying harder.

Tomorrow is Good Friday. I grew up in the Catholic Church (yay, Pope Francis!) and I vividly remember Good Fridays when my sisters and I were little and we were taught to be silent from 12-3 PM. This is the time frame when Jesus was dying on the cross, and we were taught that it was a not a time  to be light-hear
ted and playful, but to be somber and and to mourn.

You'd think this would be a difficult task for a group of five giggly sisters, but I remember taking it seriously. I'm sure I never broke the silence when any certain sister tried to make me laugh. (cough..Stacie....cough.)

This year, I am especially feeling the import of Holy Week. The heaviness of it.
 I'm not sure why, but I'm not taking it in stride as just another week and tomorrow just another Friday.
Are you mourning, too?
 I am feeling the emotional upheaval of Jesus suffering and Jesus dying. For my sake and for your sake.
He did not deserve that.
I do deserve it, but he took it instead of me or you. And my heart is so troubled in me that I keep breaking down in tears.
Jesus,who I talk to everyday and who is my friend.
Jesus, who I love.
Being betrayed.
Being beaten, being whipped.
Being mocked.
Being tortuously killed.
Being forsaken by his Abba. 
Being buried in the ground.
Right now, I don't want to get up off the ground.
I can't wait for Sunday.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Not here. I'm sure something Earth-shattering is happening somewhere., but here it is just Monday again.
 I do like starting things fresh on Monday's (YES! Clean sheet day!) and I also like my routine.

This morning started out at oh-dark-thirty (daylight savings? what is that?) when I let Lucy and Cooper out to go to the bathroom, turned on the heater and made my wonderful cappuccino, which I brought back in my room for "Second Bed." (Are you absolutely riveted? Are you on the edge of your seat? Are you still alive or have I bored you to death?)

Second Bed is a sacred period of time which occurs after you get up early to deal with all the necessities of life, and then return to the bed,(oh, joy!) with your coffee and climb back in it.
It is too early and too dark to actually stay up, your spouse is typically still asleep, so I use this special time to read. I read my Kindle with it's little light, and I posistion a big pillow carefully so I will not have to breathe in Rod's morning breath Rod will not be disturbed by the light. Then I can enjoy this time, commonly called Second Bed.

This morning, as most mornings, I began by reading the bible. Rod and I are reading through the bible, as we do most years. (I know! Doesn't it seem like we would be super-spirit-filled and loving and kind of GLOW from the inside out, like those vampires on the Twilight series that sparkle? You'd think, but,apparently you have to LIVE what you read, not just read it. Duh!)

This morning my Old Testament reading was in Numbers and the New Testament is in the book of Mark. Rod and I have been discussing back and forth about all the rules and regulations in the Old Testament and how the Israelites were punished if they didn't toe the line.
For instance, a man was stoned to death for gathering wood on the Sabbath.How does that fit in with my view of who God is?
 Rules were given by God to the Israelites about everything, and how they needed to offer specific sacrifices if they sinned, even unintentionally.  It had to have been a heavy burden to bear. It is mind-numbing....and we are only READING it.

This morning, after Second Bed, I brought up to Rod how I was feeling weighted down with the Old Testament reading because this morning in Numbers a couple families were swallowed by the earth because of their disobedience.(Numbers 16) I don't even know what to think about that,  and we talked a little bit about the structure and burden that the Israelites had to live under. I told him that I was tempted to just not read any more Old Testament and skip over to the New Testament. That's it. I'd just pretend it didn't exist. Then it wouldn't trouble me.

But as we were talking about all the laws and how difficult they would have been to follow, I was struck hard in my heart with the unapproachable holiness of God. Sometimes, living in this New Testament world, I diminish the awesomeness and holiness of God. I begin to think He is like me; if I think something is good, then He does, too. If I believe something is bad, then certainly, God does,too. Right? ("My thoughts are not your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8)

Reading the Old Testament overwhelms me with  His holiness, and I am thankful for my Catholic upbringing which gave me a sense of it while I was growing up.
Now I am completely overcome with with joy and great relief that Jesus has come.

 Reading the Old Testament has reminded me anew of the  absolutely fantastic good news of Jesus, coming to Earth to pay our debts so we don't have to live separated from God by sin and try in vain to live under the heavy burden of the Old Testament law any more.
I can't do it.
You can't do it.
Jesus did it for us.

The reading in Mark today spoke of the crucifixion of Jesus.
"Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." Mark 15:37-38

How appropriate. What a gift! I am thankful to be reminded of how Jesus' death on the cross changed everything, once and for all.
This song that we sing in church is so beautiful and perfect for this morning.

Lyrics | Hillsong lyrics - At The Cross lyrics

At the Cross lyrics:

Oh Lord You've searched me
You know my way
Even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me
I know You love me
[ Lyrics from: ]
At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was she'd for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now

You go before me
You shield my way
Your hand upholds me
I know You love me

You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done

And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me
I know You love me
I know You love me 

Below are notes on the Jewish Temple, for those interested.

May your Monday be as "earth-shattering" as mine turned out to be.

[Source:] During the lifetime of Jesus, the holy temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish religious life. The temple was the place where animal sacrifices were carried out and worship according to the Law of Moses was followed faithfully. Hebrews 9:1-9 tells us that in the temple a veil separated the Holy of Holies—the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence—from the rest of the temple where men dwelt. This signified that man was separated from God by sin (Isaiah 59:1-2). Only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond this veil once each year (Exodus 30:10Hebrews 9:7) to enter into God’s presence for all of Israel and make atonement for their sins (Leviticus 16).