Friday, March 29, 2013

It was Friday, But Sunday Was a Comin'

A friend and church member wrote this poem after hearing a famous sermon on the subject years ago. I asked if I could share it on my blog. Here it is, with his permission, on this Good Friday. My it bless your day as we enter this holy weekend!



It was upon a Friday when he began to bleed,
As he suffered many lashes to pay for you and me.
And as the pain and wounds grew worse, the blood began a runnin’,
He knew just what his purpose was and that Sunday was a comin’.

They lead him through the crowded streets, a cross upon his back;
The physical strength that once was there, He now did surely lack.
The crowds, they sneered and mocked at him and made it all for funin’;
But the Spirit helped Him through it all, ‘cause Sunday was a comin’.

They drove great spikes through hands and feet that had only come to give,
But as He hung there on that tree, he continued to forgive.
Some followers watched Him from a far, while most in fear were runnin’;
They did not know what all this meant, nor that Sunday was a comin’.

As the day of Friday came to close, they laid him in a tomb:
His followers, all completely crushed, their hearts were filled with gloom.
What shall we do? Where shall we hide? Their thoughts were just a runnin’.
Filled with tears and fears they did not know that Sunday was a comin’.

But in that Great White City where God and angels dwell,
There was joy and celebration, Christ had conquered death and hell.
Ole Satan thought he had won the fight with all his wit and cunnin’,
But the angels knew that Friday meant that Sunday was a comin’.

Then at last, the time had come and Sunday did arrive,
And all of Heaven did shout with joy, “The Savior is Alive”.
So now we know when darkness comes with troubles over-runnin’,
We can praise our God when Friday‘s here, cause Sunday is a comin’.

Ron Carroway

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not a "Cosmic Fumble Recovery"

We enter the holiest week of the year with great anticipation. The cross and resurrection are not just object lessons leading us to a correct doctrinal explanation of how we are saved. They are milestones in the holy drama of God’s graceful interaction with us, and they define and form the very essence of Christian spirituality.

This week, I invite you to explore the intentionality of Jesus’ love. Holy week is not about what I called “cosmic fumble recovery” in my sermon. The cross didn't just get thrown at him. His persecution and crucifixion were not unexpected, a sudden ball flung from way out in left field. This was not a weak moment when God wasn't looking and the devil snuck in, forcing God to make a recovery once he woke up to say, “gee what am I gonna do?” This kind of dualistic thinking reflects the mythic saga of Superman and kryptonite, but it is not the story of Jesus and the cross.

Jesus’ face was set on Jerusalem. The prophets saw it in advance, and he tried to explain it to his disciples. His walk through the week was intentional drama designed to do much more than teach a lesson so we mentally conceptualize how we are saved. It was to form the very unique Christian spirituality of what love is and what it means to overcome.

So don’t hop like a skipping stone avoiding the penetration of the water. Don’t move from the hosannas of Palm Sunday to the alleluias of Easter without the fullness of the great drama. This is about what love is.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A New and Mysterious World

I ran across a quote from spiritualist Thomas Green as I was preparing for my Companions in Christ class. It resonates with my soul.

It happens that I am in the midst of preaching a Lenten series "The Voyage: Faith is a Journey Not a Destination." Thomas's words sum up what I am trying to say as I invite people to fall in love with the spiritual disciplines. I share it with you.

For those blessed souls that are able to let go, to float free, a new and mysterious world is revealed. It is a world more mysterious, more exotic and, initially, more threatening than the new world Columbus and Magellan stumbled upon. Those who "stay home" will only know of it by hearsay, and will scarcely believe what they hear. The few whom grace and their own generosity launch on the uncharted sea - they alone will ever really know whether the explorer's tales are true.

Thomas H. Green, When the Well Runs Dry