My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
The beauty of new life in the Spring at Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury.
The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.
This is the great story of Resurrection Sunday. The women have gone to the garden tomb and discovered that Jesus is not there. The two men in “dazzling” clothes speak with the women and the begin their affirmation of Jesus’ life with a question. It’s that question that tells the women that Jesus is alive. He is living, and therefore, you will not find him here in a grave, among the dead. Then, just to add clarity they respond by telling the women the good news that “He is not here, but has risen.” It’s this news that changes everything, both that day, and today.
This season of life is filled with a multitude of emotions as I experience the full cycle of life. Just a couple of months ago we said “good-bye” to my dear mother. She had lived a good, long, and full life. Yesterday I had the privilege of being present when we welcomed a new grandson into the world. There is that little moment after the baby is born when you wait with vivid anticipation for that first sign of life. Is the baby moving? Is the baby breathing? Is he okay? Then you hear that little cry and the tears begin to flow, for there is great joy in knowing that he is alive! There is a huge difference between life and death.
This story about the life of Jesus is not just about his resurrection, but about ours as well. When we receive new life, we are born again. This is new life, and we are invited to be actively engaged in that new life. Why would anything alive, live among the dead? I think that’s the real question of Easter Sunday morning? If, as believers, we do not choose to dwell among the living, then we remain with the dead. Just imagine how morbid that would be in the literal sense, and yet, when we refuse to live our lives fully into our new life, that is exactly what we do.
What would happen to our new grandson, Theodore, whose name means “God’s gift,” if he didn’t live into his new life? He could not have survived much longer in his mother’s womb. He had to be born and live into his new life, eating and breathing! He’s learning to do these things, and it will take time. He’s out of the comfort zone of his old life, but only by living in new life will he thrive.
When we embrace the resurrection of Christ, we are invited into a brand new life. The community of faith must be the gentle mother who provides the nourishment for this brand new life among the living. The responsibility for the growth of the new babe in the Lord is much heavier upon the community than it is on the individual. No one expects a newborn to take care of himself! The church should carefully love, feed and care for her newborns so that they can thrive. The church herself, must be the land of the living! It’s a sad day when people think they have to try and find the living somewhere among the dead.
We embrace the new life of resurrection. Christ is not among the dead, for he is risen! We are invited to journey among the living, because he is risen. This is the hope that is set before us; the joy that wells up inside when that new babe in Christ takes their first breath. The chasm of death to life has been crossed by the One who gave his life for us to live.
Lord, I rejoice in you, and thank you for your gift! Amen.
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…
Scripture: Acts 9:32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Observation:
In this text by the physician Luke, Paul has just recently been converted. Suddenly the narrative shifts to the Apostle Peter who is, no doubt, the leader of the followers of the Way. This passage sets the stage for the expansion of the ministry to the Gentiles. It is in Joppa that Peter has his vision that eventually leads him to the house of Cornelius but at this moment, Peter has no idea where this is going. Peter is simply going about his business, visiting the believers who live outside of Jerusalem, making it to the town of Lydda.
It is in Lydda, not far from …
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Observation:
This passage from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is frequently quoted and used to remind us of the unity which is found when we belong to Christ. Any barriers that may have existed are to be brought down. The power of prejudice is to be destroyed and a new life is to be found when one belongs to Christ.
Jerome put it this way, “ When one has once put on Christ and, having been sent into the flame, glows with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, it is not apparent whether he is of gold or silver. As long as the heat takes over the mass in this way there is one fiery color, and all diversity of race, condition and body is taken away by such a garment.” (EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS 2.3.27–28) What happens is that the former…