Guest Post Over At Reflections: The Messy Love of Easter

The Messy Love of Easter

My good friend Gloria gave me the privilege of writing for her blog Reflections this Easter, so I’d like to share the post with you all; and while you’re over there take a few minutes to explore more of her lovely blog!

 

Horrifying. Scandalous. These aren’t the words we usually associate with Easter.

Our normal thoughts fall more along the lines of pastel flowers, cute chicks and bunnies, and Precious Moments kids kneeling gently beneath a brown ceramic cross.

And those are sweet. Those are cute. Those are clean. But they’re wrong.

Because Easter, the whole of this great story, isn’t cute. It isn’t clean. There are no pastels; no, it’s stained in vivid hues of crimson and black and wretchedness and anger and violent love. Because Easter is nothing without the cross.

But so often we’re tempted to check out. We know the story, or at least, we’ve heard it many times. But we forget. We forget how shocking it is. How dreadful. Our sin is a horrifying, messy thing, and to think that the answer to it would be cute and clean and easy — It couldn’t be. We violently removed ourselves and were swept away from God and life and light; and only a violent love, willing to do and endure all for us, could win us back.

So lay aside your prior knowledge, your prior suppositions for a moment. Read back through all the accounts (Mat. 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-21); it’ll probably take about half an hour. Blow away the dust of familiarity, and read this as a story. (The Greatest One which ever was.)

As you read, can’t you feel the tension, the dread, the rising anger at this injustice?

Read the rest here on Gloria’s blog.

Another Year, Not the Same

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I turned 6 yesterday.

Not in life years, of course, but in eternity. In being born-again. Growing older in eternal life, that’s an amusing concept to wrap your mind around. But somehow, as odd and strange as that sounds, it’s true.

Six years. Six years to grow in grace. Six years to walk in the Spirit. And six years, since I first met Him.

It seems so short, and yet as if I always have known Him. And yet, even the longest life, the most years, wouldn’t be enough to know Him — why, even eternity is barely enough to sing His praises.

And, oh, how young, how foolish I still am! So ensnared in my vanity, so tangled up with pride, so caught up with those idols which long ago should have died — inside of me can be a raging, chaotic turmoil of emotions and anger and impatience and fear and — and He hasn’t left. He’s still here.  Continue reading

What Christmas Was Meant to Do

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A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

You can recognize all these. Perhaps you barely even had to read them, they’re so familiar. They make us grin, they call forth memories, and they evoke emotions. Your heart is instantly swept away into another land, full of adventure, danger, and wonder. But very little of that is because of them. Just those sentences themselves aren’t much. There’s no elegant structure here. There’s no eloquent prose. In fact, they all consist almost entirely of single-syllable words! They’re not stories, they’re not chapters, and they’re barely even full sentences. Taken simply as words by themselves, they have little power.

No, we love them because they are beginnings. We love them because they herald what is coming next.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (Luke 2:1)

And I think this is how we should love Christmas as well. Of course, most people do enjoy Christmas. Ask most people on the street, and — unless they are the living incarnation of Scrooge or the Grinch himself — they’ll smile and agree that it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year.

His soft little hands stretched open, reaching for the warmth of His mother. Red and wrinkled, His small body was wrapped snugly, safe from the bitter winter air. Continue reading

Loving Mondays: Reclaiming (Garden) Ruins

Left to itself, a garden becomes a disaster.

Plants start sprawling out of their cages. Bugs infest, leaving only holes and webs of leaves behind. Fruit sits forgotten, slowly rotting until it falls to the ground. All available (and unavailable) space is crowded up with weeds. And not nice weeds, mind you. Big, towering, ugly weeds, with roots going a mile deep and thorns an inch long. Basically, a giant mess, not even worthy of the name garden, except for the fact that there are a few persistent tomatoes hanging on to life in this dystopian world of plants.

Until a gardener comes in.

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Faithfulness Fridays: Facades and Forgiveness

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My life is a lie.

At least, it can be. We live in a modern age, where our lives are constantly seen and judged by our ‘friends’. But with the age of technology comes the ability to be more fake. We’ve always been able to fool others to some extent, but think of the new abilities photo-shop and the edit button have now given us. Do you know how hard I can work to make others think I am smart, I’m funny, I’m lovely, I’m deep? I have literally spent a day planning a “spontaneous” funny post.

Because like everyone else, I want to put my best self forward.

Even if that self isn’t me.

Because what you never see in Instagram photos is me losing my temper. What you never see on YouTube is me snapping at my siblings. What you never read on Facebook is me turning to my idols of relationships, security, and comfort for my needs. You don’t see the sinfulness — the sinful mess — that is me.

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