Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lazarus and Life

This morning's lectionary gave the option of reading about Jesus raising Lazarus from death to life. The reading did not include the passage when Jesus said to Martha, "I AM the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

I don't know if that just stopped you in your tracks, but it did me. Jesus is about to call Lazarus from death back to life. Jesus, who is Life itself, is about to taste death and be raised to life again. And, he he asks Martha ... and us ... if we believe in Him, we shall not die but live forever. Do you believe this?

Do you believe this?

Strangely enough, my first reading this morning was from the book The Secrets of Hebrew Words. The book fell open to the word "life". God moment! The author, Rabbi Benjamin Blech, said,
"The word for life in Hebrew ends with YiM, the grammatical indicator of plurality. We are granted not one life, but two; not HaY but HaYYiM.
     Why does the Torah begin with the letter bet, which corresponds to the number 2?* Because our sages teach that God created not one world, but two. There is olam ha-zeh, this world, and olam ha-ba, the world to come.
     Our life must always be lived with the awareness that the grave is not our end, but merely the second beginning. 'Know whence you came and to where you are going and before Whom you are destined to give final accounting' [Ethics of the Fathers 3:1]"
We are granted not one life but two ... because we believe in Jesus Christ, the One who is Life and promises it abundantly!

Are we not all like Lazarus? Do we not all need to be brought back from death to life? Are we not all like Martha? Do we not all need to believe that Jesus is the resurrection ... the One who brings back to life ... and is the life? In this we shall live! Not one life, but two!

The Secrets of Hebrew Words, Benjamin Blech, 1996. Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale New Jersey. p. 45.
*Bet is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Happy map to a richer reality...?

I watched a TEDTalk the other day that discusses the option of giving cell phone map apps alternative routes, therefore giving its users a richer and happier reality to their commute. Instead of taking the most efficient, direct route to your destination ... one that may take you on highways, tollways, and clogged arteries ... you may decide to take a more scenic route and arrive at your destination a minute later but far more at peace. Using social science research new maps are created to give you the most happy route, the most beautiful route, the most peaceful route, the most memorable route.

As I watched this talk by Daniele Quercia, I wondered ... what about the Lenten route? What about a route of struggling against sin and temptation. What about the route that takes us through suffering ... so that we may become like Jesus? What does that route look like? I doubt that many would choose that route ... and yet that is the route that truly leads to a richer and deeper reality. The route of suffering shows us the love of the Father. Paul Claudel said, "Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with his presence." 

May we choose to follow Jesus on whatever route he takes us ... let us pick up our cross and follow Him ... that we may be filled with His Presence. That is the most happy route, the most beautiful route, the most peaceful route, the most memorable route. It leads to life in Him! Amen?

TEDTalk: Happy Maps by Daniele Quercia

Thus says the LORD: Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

Jeremiah 16.16

Monday, March 9, 2015

I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You...

When struggles and hurdles assault ... inside and out ... here is music from
the Word to encourage. Blessed Lent +++

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Plead, I Plead the Blood

Had a friend send this to me and just had to share it.
We plead the Blood of Jesus ... 
to save us,
cleanse us,
cover us,
embolden us,
strengthen us
in our war against our sinfulness.
We plead, we plead the Blood.