Masterpieces

What’s the museum you love the most?  Whatever one it is, I’m sure there have been moments when you just stand before the object of art or history and get lost in your thoughts and feelings about what you are seeing.

   Our trip each day into the wonders of the Bible is something like a trip to visit masterpieces of works of art.  Today’s chapter from Proverbs is just such an example.  Each of them are like masterpieces of God’s wisdom set apart, one by one.  Visit each one.  Stand before each one; drink in the wisdom of each one.  Give yourself time to allow what God is saying to you to really get to you.

Proverbs 24

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

Rescued by the Good Shepherd

In the city of Rome there are tunnels beneath the ground called catacombs, where early Christians are buried.  They died as martyrs—witnesses of their faith—in the midst of the wicked Roman emperors who persecuted these new lovers of Jesus with merciless abandon.  They used to throw them to lions let loose in a stadium called the coliseum, to watch the Christians be killed by the lions.  What they often found were songs and shouts of praise from holy persons about to die.  In the resurrection of Jesus, they knew that they were going to live! 

One of the images that early Christians painted on the walls of the catacombs were those of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  They must have been thinking about passages like this one in Ezekiel and in the 10th chapter of St. John’s Gospel where Jesus is described as “The Good Shepherd.”  Those scattered on that dark day of Good Friday were rescued by The Good Shepherd on Easter morning! 

Ezekiel  34:11-24

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

Empty Spaces

Easter Sunday – The Day of the Resurrection

“Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive”? Luke 24:5

There are empty spaces after Good Friday.  There is the empty space on the cross when Jesus is taken down from it, followed by the empty space of silence: Jesus is gone…no more the sweetness of his voice, the joyful shouts of those healed by the hands of Jesus.

Holy women come to the tomb of Jesus to turn the stench of death into a sweet smell by special perfumed oils.  But what do they find? More emptiness!  The tomb is empty: what happened to Jesus?  Soon that empty space would be filled by faith that Jesus had risen.  They would see him face to face in his new body after death.  The empty space in the hearts of those who loved Jesus begin to be filled with tremendous joy.

Join the loved ones of the Lord and listen to this Resurrection story and let wherever you feel empty, be filled with the risen presence of Jesus who will be with you always.

 Luke 24:1-12

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

Passover

I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand
until I have passed. Exodus 33: 22

Most years the Jewish festival of Passover and Easter take place at the same time.  This makes sense, because Jesus’ death took place at the Passover of that year.  He is the true and everlasting Paschal Lamb who was slain for our salvation and who is risen.

Jewish people celebrate Passover for eight days—somewhat similar to the eight days that Christians honor to remember the events that had us pass over from death to life—Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.  The reading is part of the passage that Jewish people read all over the world today.  It’s about how Moses wanted to be sure that  God would go with them as they continued on their journey through the desert to the Promised Land.  God says that he will surely be with them.

Exodus 33:12-23

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

The Day Jesus Died

A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it,
put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.
 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!”
Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 
John 19: 29-30

This is the day that Jesus died for you and for me that we might live.  These two chapters in the Gospel of St. John tell about the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus.  I suggest that you read these chapters in the time of the day when they first took place. For example, the crucifixion took place at noon and Jesus hung on the cross till 3 PM.  In this way, you can be close to Jesus as the event in his trial and death take place about the times of the day when we are reading them.  

Since the first disciples ran far from Jesus and left him very much alone, your thinking about what happened to Jesus will keep you close to him.  Pray also for all those throughout the world who are continuing to suffer and die at the hands of bad people.  Your prayer will help to apply God’s love and grace to them which comes from Jesus’s great love for all of us on the cross. 

John 18—19

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

The Gift of Communion

Holy Thursday

The fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead.
He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. 1 Corinthians v. 20

St. Paul has a very powerful faith in the resurrection of Jesus and of the resurrection of those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus.  Read slowly to catch how his ideas about the resurrection flow along.  

 The whole plan of God in Jesus’s Resurrection is not that he alone be raised, but that we be raised with him.   This is the day of remembering the great gift of Jesus to us in Holy Communion.  It’s also the day to respond to the New Commandment to love one another as Jesus has loved us which He gave us at the Last Supper.  Communion is one of the beautiful ways of sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus now.  

These are very holy days: the holiest of the year.   When I was a child we used to visit nine churches on this day.  I remember one year doing this on my bicycle.  Is this something special that you will do on this day? 

1 Corinthians 15:12-28

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.

A Song of Victory

Here we have a psalm that is a collection of the writer’s favorite verses from psalms 57 and 60.  It’s a wonderful prayer on this middle day of Holy Week, sometimes called “Spy Wednesday,” recalling Judas’s plot against Jesus.  The psalm is a confident song of victory in the midst of trouble.  

Pray this psalm as though you are praying for the whole world that all the nations of the earth will come to adore and love their suffering King who soon will be triumphant.

Psalm 108

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
My heart is steadfast, O God. v. 1

For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is Holy Week.
Spring in the north.  Year C
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms

Seasons of Grace – A Calendar for 2019

Solar and Sacred Seasons
Some adjustments to make the church year simpler.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…