Gifts nailed together was the Joy Dare prompt for Friday.
1. His hands and feet to the Cross
2. My rescue and redemption
3. My forgiveness and freedom
Thankfully, these three things were nailed together, or rather, nailed down at the Cross for me, and what a week it was remembering and celebrating along with others who've received those gifts nailed down as well. A wonderfully beautiful week. A completely exhausting week.
Wednesday night we celebrated Christ in the Passover with a Messianic Seder Dinner. Set tables for 70, and ended up with 100 ~ all gathering to worship and remember who the true Passover lamb is, to realize that all of Scripture points to Jesus, the lamb of God. Setting extra places for worship and fellowship is always a good problem to have!
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.
For Christ, our Passover, has also been sacrificed.
I Corinthians 5:7
Gifts from His Word was the prompt for Wednesday:
1. But the Lord was pleased to crush Him... Is. 53:10
2. But He Himself bore the sin of many... Is. 53:12
3. Listen carefully...eat what is good...delight in abundance... Is. 55:2Good Friday brought about the ironic, sober despair it intends ~ walking the cross through town, listening to the jeers, the horns honking, reading the story along the way, gathering in the sanctuary for more dramatic recounting of the story later that evening, being led to yell "Crucify Him!" with the congregation, (even if I would have refrained all those years ago, my sin would have cried out the same refrain), singing the somber songs of remembrance, blowing out the final candle on the cross, praying in darkness, leaving in silence.
We rented The Passion of the Christ on the way home from church that evening, and watched it together before bed. (Kayla was allowed to participate this year, but couldn't bring herself to watch much.) It gets more difficult to watch each year, and I think we all headed to bed feeling awful.
"I've never been more ready for Sunday to get here," I said. "I feel terrible after the events of today."
"Well, we've crucified Jesus three times today, Robert said as we climbed into bed, "it's no wonder."
But its been my prayer to grow in awareness of sin that produces gratitude for the cross, and He's answering that prayer. This is also a gift.
Saturday brought early morning swimming lessons, agitated attitudes, lots of shopping for groceries and Easter basket goodies, fatigue, and this appropriate prompt for grace gifts:
Gifts waited for.
1. the salvation of those dear to me
2. His meeting me with joy through faith
3. a bride for my brother
As we waited for the Resurrection Celebration that was on its way, I was able to meditate on these other things I've waited for and received ~ all after years of prayer.
Then Easter arrived! I got up early to fill baskets, set table, prepare a special breakfast, and welcome my family to the day with gifts of celebration. Church was another awesome celebration of Christ's alive-ness and victory over death through music, as well as an incredible teaching (yes, I'm biased, but also discerning ☺) time about the picture of glorification that the day represented; the hope that enables us to suffer, because the suffering can not even come close to comparing to the coming glory of being with Him.
Later, we were blessed to continue the celebration at the home of dear friends with delicious food, laughter, and the joy of watching a toddler be more interested in sticks and dirt than finding hidden eggs ~ until he discovered there were marshmallows in the eggs, that is.
My Gifts Rising Up?
1. a new, real, growing joy in my heart
2. a glimpse of glorification and its beautiful hope
3. Kayla's spring seedlings growing in our basement
Today, I chose to obey His previous and long leading to make Mondays a Sabbath, but struggled with guilt while comparing myself to other moms, wives, homeschoolers who are plugging away at life today, serving sacrificially, and not stopping like I am ~ like I seem to have to do ~ like He seems to be asking. I slept in till 8 am this morning, ran (only because it gives me life and joy), and after giving direction to the kids for the day, came back to my room to read His Word, to pray, to sit in silence for a while. I only made it through one chapter of Matthew before I needed to lay my head down on the pillow, and I slept. And I never sleep during the day. And I mean never. Too many thoughts spinning, too many things on the list. But today I slept, and now it seems the perfect way to spend the day after Easter ~ resting in His finished work ~ a Holy Week gift to be sure.