Spending Time With Friends

Spending Time With FriendsThis Easter I read the accounts of Christ’s final week before the cross looking for insight as to what his activities teach me about his mission. I wanted to know how I could better participate in that mission (John 20:21). I gained some new perspectives on the 7 days leading up to Easter.

Christ’s post-resurrection activities.

I’ve been thinking about what shape Christ’s mission took in his post resurrection activities. What did Jesus do during the 40 days between the resurrection and the ascension?

Today I read “Jesus is Risen but What Happened to the Kingdom?” by Christine Sine over at Godspace. She writes,

“No neon lights, no CNN interviews, no leading armies against the Roman legions. All we see is a man spending time with his friends – sharing meals, (even cooking breakfast for them) calming their fears, dispelling their doubts and overturning their confusion…”

It got me to thinking about how Jesus did life together with his followers. He sends us as agents of reconciliation in  his Kingdom mission but he also models for us the life habit of doing everyday stuff with fellow sojourners.

Christine draws these conclusions and I resonate in agreement with her,

“…maybe the kingdom looks like us living as representatives of that loving God – loving others as God loved us – sharing meals and other resources, calming fears, dispelling doubts and in the process laying the foundations for a loving, caring community such as we see portrayed in the book of Acts.”

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Join the Conversation: How does spending time with other Christ followers fulfill the Kingdom mission on which we are sent by Jesus?

Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

Easter CrossWe are so quick to rush to Sunday and the resurrection that we don’t stop to think about what it was like for Christ’s followers on Saturday. For us Saturday is a day of waiting because we know what happens on Sunday. But for the disciples it was a day of mourning that undoubtedly left them with feelings of hopelessness.

Something deep in their guts cried, “No more!”

  • No more miracles – Jesus is dead.
  • No more healing of broken bodies – Jesus is dead.
  • No more stories about the Kingdom – Jesus is dead.
  • No more Messiah – Jesus is dead.
  • No more water of life – the river is dry.
  • No more bread of life – the oven is cold.
  • Only shadows – no more light.
  • Only the eerie quietness after the passing of a storm.
  • Only death – a tomb – emptiness – hopelessness.

We know the end of the story that they were soon to learn. That they would soon be able to say, “The Lord is risen” and respond with “He is risen indeed!” We know their hope is restored when they encounter the risen Christ.

But, let’s not rush to the empty tomb just yet.

Let’s take some time today and try to feel the pain, the emptiness, the lostness. Let’s try to identify with those all around us who have not yet found the hope of the resurrection.

Pause on this Saturday and as best as possible feel the hopelessness of a world without Jesus.

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

    1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
    2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
    3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
    4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
    5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
    6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
    7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

      Seeing The Unnoticed

      The final day of Jesus’ public ministry was on Tuesday of that last week. It was a long day of confrontation, controversy and rejection. Mark records the stories of this day starting in Mark 11:20 and continuing through Mark 14:9.

      Let’s look at one of those stories told by Mark – a widow Jesus observed giving her offering in the temple courts.

      We are not going to talk about the offering. We are not going to consider the men who made a big show of their gifts or even the woman who quietly gave out of her poverty.

      I want us to consider Jesus and how he noticed the unnoticed. I think we can learn a lot about the mission he sends us on from his example.

      Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

      Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 NIV

      Do you take time to notice?

      It does not seem that the widow gave her offering to be noticed in contrast to those who made their giving a big show, but Jesus saw her in her quietness.

      Sometimes we are distracted by the loud, boisterous show of some while neglecting to see the quiet ones around us. Sometimes we’re just too consumed by our own agenda to notice.

      Wasn’t Jesus always noticing those around him; the city of Jerusalem, the widow, a friend who denied him, a thief on a cross next to his? He sets the example for us to keep our eyes open.

      Take some time today to notice those around you.

      Grace and Peace,
      Terry

      Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

        1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
        2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
        3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
        4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
        5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
        6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
        7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb