Friday, April 06, 2012

Easter 2012

Weekly Word
For Easter 2012

And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” (Mathew 26: 27 & 28)

Today is the Thursday that we call “Holy Thursday” in the Christian Church. It is the day that remembers the night of “The Last Supper”. It was the last time that Jesus would teach and share with His disciples, before he would be given over to be crucified.

Years ago, I used to worship in an Episcopal Church. The services were quiet, and I found the worship to be heartfelt and uplifting. On this very night (Holy Thursday), the service was always very moving. Upon entering the church, the lights would be a bit lower, and all entered very quietly. As the minister started the service, we celebrated the life of Jesus by entering into communion. When communion was over, each member of the church walked forward, the minister handing them an item from the alter and vestibule. Each of us would take that holy piece to the back of the church - where it was put away. As we headed back to our seats, the alter was soon empty. We all sat watching, as the minister took down the candle that had been hanging above the alter, and snuffed it out. Then, the minister walked down from the front of the church and sat in the seats with the rest of us. The lights had been dimmed, and at that moment - a terrible sadness would come over me. Slowly, one by one, we would leave the darkened church. At that moment, I thought I knew what the disciples had felt so long ago - - - when Jesus had been taken from them.

“My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
(Mathew 26: 38)

For many, many years; I have spent most days conversing with the Lord. I tell Him the worries I have for my children and grandchildren. I talk to Him about the little things that I wonder about. I ask Him the important questions that I have for my own life as well as those I love. I am always talking with the Lord. And truthfully, I know He is always right there listening - and answering me. The thought of being without Him - feels so awful . . .

But there have been terrible times in my life - when I felt like He was very far away from me. At those times, my heart felt so lost, and I wondered how I would even survive. Those moments were times full of darkness and fear . . .

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Mathew 26: 39)

In those times of darkness, God has made sure that I knew I was never alone. He always sent someone to bring back the light of Him into my life. Norma was one of those friends in my life. I still remember walking with her one spring day, telling her that I felt as if I could no longer pray. “That’s OK” she said. “That’s why you have friends”. As she said it, I have to admit, I wondered if I would ever be able to pray again. At that moment, all I could feel was pain and darkness.

“But after I have been raised, I will go before you . . .”
(Mathew 26: 32)

Norma, as well as many other friends were there to pray for me - when I was in darkness. Over the years, I have prayed for others - who also found themselves facing dark times. We are able to bring the light of the Lord into the darkest of places in this world. It is what our Lord died for - on the Cross so long ago.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying . . . “My God, My God, Why hast thou Forsaken Me?” . . .

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, . . .

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

. . . And Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.
And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.” “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. . . . Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold He is going before you . . .”

(these verses are taken from Mathew 27 & 28)

These verses are the story of the death and Resurrection of our Lord - Jesus Christ! I am thankful every single day - for the Lord’s gift of Life and Light - in my own life. Without Him - - - I am lost . . .

This Sunday is the most Holy of days - it is Easter! It is when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and Life. He died for each of us. And in His Resurrection - he brings new life to each and every one of us.

I can not imagine my life without the Lord. I don’t deserve God’s love - but He has given it to me anyways. He has brought miracles into my life! I never imagined the life that I have now - with Ted, my family, and the friendships I have been given.

A few weeks ago, my eyesight started to have problems. I had dark spots that wouldn’t go away, and flashes of light that seemed to be behind my eyelids. I made an appointment with my eye doctor, where I found out that I needed more tests - there was a possibility of tearing of my retina, and even blindness. I have to admit, I didn’t really think I would lose my site - but I was a little bit worried. I kept my plans for the next week, putting off seeing the specialist. When I finally did go, the day turned into a whirlwind! I had a tear in the retina, and needed immediate laser surgery! When all was done, and I had time to think about it, I knew that the Lord had saved my site! Did I deserve it? No. But He gave me the gift of site - so that I might share it with each and every one of you . . .

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo,
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

(Mathew 28: 20)

Every single day, God brings about miracles in our lives. But the greatest miracle is this: That He gave His life - so that we might Live! That is what this day, and this week-end is all about . . .

As you walk this road we call life - when the times are dark, and fear seems all around - that is the time to ask the Lord to walk with you. He has conquered all fear, all darkness! He brings the light of Forgiveness and Life - to us all . . .

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16)

God bless you and keep you - as we celebrate the most amazing of gifts - the Resurrection and New Life offered for you - and for me!

In His Love,

Debbie & Ted Ayers