You are invited into the story of the resurrected life!

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‘‘The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus Who was nailed to the cross. He is not here! He has risen from the dead as He said He would. Come and see the place where the Lord lay. Run fast and tell His followers that He is risen from the dead. He is going before you to the country of Galilee. You will see Him there as I have told you.” They went away from the grave in a hurry. They were afraid and yet had much joy. They ran to tell the news to His followers. As they went to tell the followers, Jesus met them and said hello to them. They came and held His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My followers to go to Galilee. They will see Me there.” Matthew 28:5

I love this piece, ‘the Disciples,’ by Eugène Burnand. 

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‘Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck.’

You can just imagine their feet were moving before Mary had finished talking, with the golden dawn lighting the sky, Peter and John, run, at this point, they are side by side and heading in one direction. Apprehension, amazement and resolve on their faces, hand over heart and clasped in prayer. Mike Frost wrote, ‘surely this is also the posture with which we should approach Easter. Leaning in, wringing our hands, clutching our chests, desperate for it to be true.’

Also described as the visual equivalent of Lectio Divina. “This Resurrection scene does not put us before still figures near a stagnant stone, or figures standing with stony faces in a contrived, plastic posture, pointing to an empty tomb. This scene is dynamic; we are in motion.”

‘The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed.’ John 20:4

Meditate upon their faces as Burnand intended you to do and through them discover the empty tomb.

On this day of celebration, you are invited into the story of the resurrected life.

But Michelle, it’s okay for you to talk of this resurrected life, but, is this story the answer to my wandering, my suffocating, my despair, my insignificance. My pain.

Yes! Invite Him in. I did.

Invite Jesus into your tomb and allow him to lead you out. HIs promise is life over your disappointments, your situations, your dreams, your promises.

His promise is resurrection over dormant destiny.

Then, if and when the betrayal of Maundy Thursday, the darkness of Good Friday, the confusion, questions, and doubt of Silent Saturday takes place. You can confidently face them from the place of resurrection – in the power, promise and the presence of Jesus.

He wants you to know how much you loved and created with purpose and a unique song in your soul for this world.

Happy Easter!

Love, Michelle xo

We are thankful today God. For the promise of the resurrection in every area of our lives. What a God we have and how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all life healed and whole. Amen

 

The Strangest Story of All

Black by day, Red by night

C.S Lewis calls it The Strangest Story of all
The Easter Story 

It’s all about stories.
Those ordinary ones who put Him on the cross that day, the same men who went home to their wives preparing dinner, to their playful kids. Pilate, Caiaphas, Soldiers – those who were doing their job.
A nameless carpenter who crafted the cross, doing his job.
These ordinaries remind me of the destructive darkness that lies deep – that we are all capable of. I am reminded that the cross dealt with that darkness and if I don’t deal with it then it deals with me.
Good Friday reminds us of that.
It’s all about stories.
His story
The blunt nails forced, His pierced side, impaled, broken, immersed in giving His life for you. Yet, while doing so, looking down and ensuring that his own mother was cared for. Yes, death on the cross for all of mankind, while caring for the details of his family.
Your story
Stare into the story of love, into the ending that will begin, into death that will bring life. And hear the truth declared over you, It is Finished.
What will you do with your story? Do you live it for yourself? Or do you occasionally allow God an appearance? Or do you take your story and fully immerse into God’s story?
This past week, I have been reminded of the fragility, beauty, and brutality of our broken world. Church leadership is not for faint-hearted, thankfully God calls us to be soft-hearted when situations scream otherwise. I have also heard some amazing stories of answered prayers. The deliverance of God declaring ENOUGH over what we perceived impossible and offering transformation and deliverance far beyond our best prayers.
Richard Rohr writes ‘most of human life is Holy Saturday, a few days of life are Good Friday, but there only needs to be one single Easter Sunday for us to know the final and eternal pattern. We now live inside of such cosmic hope. Jesus trusted enough to outstare the darkness, to outstare the void, to hold out for the resurrection of the forever-awaited third day, and not to try to manufacture His own. That is how God stretches and expands the soul, and makes it big enough to include God.’
I sit quietly on this Good Friday, eternally grateful, praying through the night allowing myself not speed by these final days of our Lent journey.
I’ll be back Sunday,
As my friend Gerard wrote today, let’s call it, GodisGood Friday,
Love, Michelle xo

This one dedicated to you Jake – my encourager.

Lent: Fast from indifference, feast on love.

 

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An article written last February with Pope Francis thoughts on Lent has stirred my heart.

…If we’re going to fast from anything this Lent, Francis suggests that even more than candy or alcohol, we fast from indifference towards others.

‘Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.…whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades….We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own….

‘But when we fast from this indifference, we can began to feast on love’

He continues ‘What are you giving up for Lent?’ It’s a question a lot of people will get these next few days. If you want to change your body, perhaps alcohol and candy is the way to go. But if you want to change your heart, a harder fast is needed. This narrow road is gritty, but it isn’t sterile. It will make room in ourselves to experience a love that can make us whole and set us free.’

Now that’s something worth fasting for.

As I (Michelle) walk the road to Easter – I’m committed to fasting from indifference.

More stopping for the one, less rush,

more engaging with stories, less scrolling past,

more hearing hearts, less agenda,

more awareness, less head in the sand.

More of YOU, less of me Lord.

Join me on the journey of fasting from indifference?

Love, Michelle

I’m reading Bread and Wine as my devotional during the next 40 days. A selection of readings by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Philip Yancey, Madeline L’Engle, Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more.

Also head over and join my friend Melissa who is sharing thoughts on the journey here