He is not here: for He is risen. – Matthew 28:6
Christ died in love for us. But if He had only died, and had not risen again, His sacrifice would not have availed for us. If He could not conquer death for himself, He could not be our Saviour. But the grave could not hold Him.
When the women came they found the stone rolled away, and the angel watcher said to them, “He is risen.” We have for a Saviour one who fought every battle that we have to fight, and was always victorious. He is able, therefore, to deliver us in any conflict.
Jesus appeared often enough after He arose to convince all His friends that He had really risen. Then He went back to heaven to receive all authority. His last act was to send out His disciples, bidding them to win all nations for Him. That was a strange commission for One who had died on a cross to give to a dozen plain peasants.
It was a stupendous claim to make for Himself, that all authority over the nations was now His. But so it was.
J. R. Miller
Could we live twice?
Stumbling and trembling
Stains on our knees, and mud on our fingers
and doubts looming like shadows,
over all too small dreams,
and then again,
If I could live twice,
alter the stance and the breadth of my world,
replay all the scenes with the knowledge of now,
change all the fragments and shards of my life,
the thing within me that chose you for a Friend.
(Poet Lynn Pearcey, Champion in a Wheelchair, Passed on March 29th and addressing joyfully the Reality)
There just doesn’t seem an answer
And sleep has escaped these eyes
And prayer hit the roof and fell back
And gray clouds have filled the skies.
But this wasn’t meant to happen
No, faith was to bring the sun
And “blessed assurance” a promise
Reducing all fears to One.
The fear we would ever desert you
Or cause you to frown or weep
But now I am walking this tightrope
Believing you save and keep.
So come Lord in all of your power
And settle this mess I’m in
The Servant must be as his Master
Who went through the worst without sin.
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON
Note: See Psalm 34
An acquaintance from a former house church gathering has launched an inter-faith group and has set up a point of reference on Facebook. She also works part-time as a hospital chaplain, where of course, inclusiveness is the key word.
She is out and about inviting people to drop by the little periodic gatherings to share testimonies and to identify points of commonality in faiths.
I wonder for a dedicated believer how this measure lines up with John 14, Hebrews 13 or Galatians 5. I recall Paul the Apostle saying that he had become all things to all people, but that had to do with wisdom in moderating the approach to the Good News to different groups; it did not have to do with enjoying regular fellowship/meals with them.
And John in his First Epistle is adamant about this dangerous courting of the world.
This sort of thinking has caused others to call me intolerant, unloving and impractical. But I am told in Ephesians without qualification that I am supposed to speak the truth in love.
I have no time for syncretic elbow rubbing. Testimony…yes as the Spirit leads.
67: 1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.
2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.
3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
6 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
How complete this is! It begins with mercy and ends with fear of the Lord in a renewed earth. The quickening agents in the middle are praise and right judgment. I also like that term “saving health”. It means a lot more than what we perceive at first blush. And the biggest victory cry of all: “Our own God!”
Doug Blair, Waterloo, ON