Living the Resurrection Life as the Body of Christ

Posts tagged ‘THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS’

ASH WEDNESDAY

From TS Eliot’s “Ash Wednesday” – the first stanza

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

 

 

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WHEN IT ALL FALLS APART

As we prepare for Lent, this post from Tammie Gitt living3368 is very important.

The taste of the bread … a reminder of your body broken for me.

The taste of the cup … a reminder of your blood for me.

Communion and betrayal.

Oneness and separation.

Wholeness and brokenness.

All these thing were part of a single day in your life, Lord, but aren’t they all part of our lives over time?

One day we feel we have it all together. The next is as if it has all fallen apart.

The thing to remember, though, is the light of hope.

You did not stay in the grave.

You rose again.

Even now you usher is into the presence of God.

NO KIND OF RELIGION AT ALL

“In a sermon Dick Lucas once preached, he recounted an imaginary conversation between an early Christian and her neighbor in Rome.

“Ah,” the neighbor says. “I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place?”

“We don’t have a temple,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our temple.”

“No temple? But where do your priests work and do their ritual?”

“We don’t have priests to mediate the presence of God,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our priest.”

“No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?”

“We don’t need a sacrifice,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our sacrifice.”

“What kind of religion is this?” sputters the pagan neighbor.

And the answer is, it’s no kind of religion at all.”

—- Tim Keller, King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, p. 48.

THE RESURRECTION LIFE

” … we’re not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We’re in the land of the dying, trying to get to the land of the living.” – Larry Moody

I resonate with this observation by golfer and Christian teacher, Larry Moody which was quoted by Paul Azinger at the memorial service for another great golfer and Christian, Payne Stewart.

Too many of us live as if Christ came, died, and was raised from the dead – but nothing has changed.  Perhaps it is because we still must live in the presence of sin and sin always brings our focus to death, not life.  But the apostle Paul reminds us eloquently that things have changed, at least for those of us who have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ.

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” – Roman 6:5-10

Do we truly understand what that means? We have been delivered by the grace of God from the penalty of our sin. We are not longer separated from him, but united with him and his righteousness.  We must live in the presence of sin until Jesus returns, but sin no longer has any power over us – except the power that we give to that sin.

Because Christ is now living in us and through us – we have the power to resist that sin.  We no longer need a life of shame or regrets. We are no longer victims, but overcomers.  We are now people who possess the righteousness of God so that we can be on mission with Jesus.

Life now has eternal purpose. And life now will be rewarded with life eternal.

Are you living a resurrection life, or do you still live as if you are forever in the valley of the shadow of death?

CS LEWIS SPEAKS ABOUT JESUS

Jesus Liar, Lunatic or Lord

Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different than anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips…

…I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

From C.S. Lewis’ , “Mere Christianity” Macmillan Publishing Co, New York, NY. Copyright 1952.

THIS IS MY KING – KING JESUS!

Dr S.M. Lockridge has one of the most inspiring confessions that Christians can make.

DEATH AS OUR CALLING

Walt Mueller in his insightful blog learning my lines … draws our attention to a powerful new book by John R.W. Stott called The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of our Calling. He identifies eight aspects, one of which is incredibly surprising – death. Below is an excerpt from Mueller’s blog

“Christianity offers life – eternal life, life to the full. But it makes it plain that the road to life is death. . . Life through death is one of the profoundest paradoxes in both the Christian faith and the Christian life.”

Stott then goes on to describe six areas in which this is true.

There’s death in our salvation. Christ died in our place so that we might have life.

There’s death in discipleship. As Christ’s followers, we are called to take up our cross and die to ourselves.

There’s death in mission. “People receive life through the Gospel, and those who preach the Gospel faithfully suffer for it.”

There’s death in persecution. The history of the church is filled with accounts of physical persecution being the avenue to life.

There’s death in martyrdom. Perhaps you are familiar with the story of Romanian pastor Josef Ton, who told in one of his sermons how the authorities threatened to kill him because of his faith. Ton responded, “Sir, your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying.”

Finally, there’s death in mortality. For the Christian – John Stott included – the best is yet to come.

These are the realities we must contemplate and communicate. They bring great joy, great hope, and great assurance. They prepare us for what is to come.

From Steve: You can read the rest of this article at MUELLER