Tag Archives: Easter

Preparing for Easter

Wendy and I are going to be in the Halifax area for Easter – guests of the city officers – so I have been pouring over the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John listening to the writers, noticing their context, trying to smell the aroma, sensing the emotions, attempting to detect the fear, the tension, the courage.

Here’s my challenge to you – can you read it afresh? Can you approach it like you have never heard it before? What do you notice?

Here’s a line I think I had not quite heard well before….

18 After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.
“Jesus the Nazarene,”they replied.
I am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground…  (John 18:1-6)

I’ve read that dozens of times and I can’t ever remember noticing that they drew back and fell to the ground….imagine up to 200 Roman soldiers with the Jews coming with torches, lanterns and weapons falling down after Jesus declares that He is the I AM.

It is as if Jesus has to coax them in to following through on the arrest. What happened there? What force was at work that created a physical response?

I remember a few years ago I was sitting in a service….it was likely many other ones, the music was good, it was comfortable….I was sitting on the aisle when suddenly I felt a warm breeze pass us. It was so powerful I turned and asked Wendy if she had felt it? She said she had…within minutes people got out of their seats and went and kneeled at the mercy seat. Not a few – many. Dozens and dozens of people, many of whom had not done so for a long time. The service took on a life of it’s own, not directed by an order of service, but directed by The Holy Spirit.

A spiritual happening invoked a physical response.

Here the Spirit of God is visiting – perhaps to strengthen Jesus, perhaps a mere mention of the I AM. Whatever is at play, it is an act of God. Jesus submission to the will of His Father has power.

So too ours, when we submit we begin to understand “my strength is made perfect in weakness”.

Perhaps our preparing for Easter really only requires one thing. Submission.

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The Easter Dress

Rachel loves dresses and jewelry it would appear. And Grandma loves buying her special things. Here she is in Grand Falls with Susan’s parents over Easter – thanks Juanita for the photo of her in her dress! She’s as sweet as can be.

  

Grandma loved picking out this dress for Rachel

On the third day

But early ~ very early says Luke  ~ the women went to the tomb intent on paying their respects and assuming they needed to prepare the body of Jesus for burial according to Jewish custom. What they discovered was that there was no need for them to prepare for death. God had raised him from the gave and demonstrated his power over death.

God continues to demonstrate his power. He has in my life. And while the Church has not always been a good witness to that power God has been faithful to me and countless Christian individuals

God has been faithful to our family and has blessed us in many ways. So on this Easter Sunday morning I stop to records my thanks and to bless His home-