I want to encourage you… that sounds so nice and free to discard, doesn’t it? I want to challenge you… as we go into and through this week to read, study, discuss, and pray about the events of this week. Not this week 2021, but this week 30 A.D. We don’t often think about it; in fact, I would say we never think about it but take it for granted. This is the year 2021 “A.D.,” “Anno Domini,” the two thousand twenty-first “year of our Lord.” Easter has all but disappeared, forced out of recognition by the forces “Of” the world. And the Christians “In” that world do little different. Yes, more people attend a service on Easter Sunday (paying their annual insurance premium) than most other Sundays, but they quickly hurry back across the threshold just as empty as when they arrived.
So, I realize asking you to spend a week not only thinking about what Christ’s week looked like but provoking others to do the same may be a pipe dream, but I’m going to do it anyway. Christ’s sacrifice and suffering for us did not come and go on one “Good Friday.” Events preceded it that we never consider. As we go through this week, I will post a few, “More Than Just a Thought,” posts as I read, study, discuss, and pray with those around me about a week that should be solemn, reflective, humbling, and saddening. We start with the people and happenings of John 18:1-11. And again, No, I did not supply the text. If you won’t put the effort into opening the Manual, you won’t do the rest.
I will however supply two things. First, Bethany Rae’s new song GRACE. She wanted to release it on Good Friday to support the Worship that we should begin that weekend with. She agreed to allow it played here to aid you in what I have asked.
Second, I provide the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux that inspired her lyrics. They are also how we begin chapter 10 of Forgotten Hope:
“I owe all that I am to Him who made me: but how can I pay my debt to Him who redeemed me, and in such wondrous wise? Creation was not so vast a work as redemption; for it is written of man and of all things that were made, ‘He spake the word, and they were made’ (Psalm 148.5). But to redeem that creation which sprang into being at His word, how much He spake, what wonders He wrought, what hardships He endured, what shames He suffered! Therefore what reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits which He hath done unto me? In the first creation He gave me myself; but in His new creation He gave me Himself, and by that gift restored to me the self that I had lost. Created first and then restored, I owe Him myself twice over in return for myself. But what have I to offer Him for the gift of Himself? Could I multiply myself a thousand-fold and then give Him all, what would that be in comparison with God?”
Next Post: “In” Not “Of” – 3/30/21
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© Scott A Caughel 3/28/2021