Written by: Lauren Zawatski
Lately I’ve been learning more about God’s faithfulness, even in spite of our human tendency of forgetfulness. Take the Israelites, for example. Not long after God delivered them out of the hands of their Egyptian oppressors, miraculously parted the Red Sea, and began to lead them into their Promised Land, they began to grumble and complain, even wishing that they were back in the land that they were desperately pleading to leave. How quickly they forgot the journey that God had taken them on! Yet He always saw them right where they were, and knew exactly what they needed.
Before celebrating Resurrection Sunday last week, I had the privilege of observing a traditional Passover Seder with students and leaders from the youth ministry where I serve. This was the first time I had ever experienced a Seder meal, and as we went through the process I was struck by just how much God does see. As we read through the original Passover story, I wondered to myself why, if God is all-seeing and all-knowing, would He ask the Israelites to slaughter a perfect lamb, take its blood, and then cover their doorposts with it to signify that their houses would be “passed over” from the coming death of all the firstborn in Egypt? He obviously knew how to distinguish between the Israelites and Egyptians...He created them, after all! Then, I had a realization. This practice was not for the Lord’s own sake. It was for theirs, and for ours now. Exodus 12:13 says that the blood “shall be a sign for you...” and one verse later, that the day of Passover itself will be “a memorial to you...throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as an ordinance forever.”
The Lord knew when He created us that we would be easily forgetful, so instead of getting frustrated about our weakness, He faithfully gave us ways to remember who He is and what He’s done. He knew even before He delivered the Israelites that they would quickly forget what He would do and how He would care for them, so He gave them a concrete way to remember - a means of bringing their attention back to Him. The best part is that this still applies to us today! We can celebrate the Passover as a means of remembering who God STILL is, and all of His faithfulness in our lives. And as Christians today, we can remember that we now have the blood of the eternal Lamb of God, Jesus, covering us now and forever.
Written by: Herb Bailey
One of the best ways that we can connect is to be open to meeting people. The best way for us to learn is to be willing to meet with people that are unknown to us. There is an invitation in the gospel to be one, even as the Lord God is one. We then, must consider how to accomplish that.
Some parts of each of us would rather be comfortable and stay to ourselves in an attempt to preserve some semblance of decorum, but unlike Jesus, we do not become close to people with problems. We see Jesus taking on flesh in order to feel what we feel, to desire like we do the sense of safety. Yet we know that Jesus did not stay “safe”. As we enter into the season of Easter/ Resurrection, let’s think about ways to be proximate, close to people so that they can see what it's about and eventually, by God’s grace, glorify the Lord with us.
This activity is a powered by a God that gives us everything we need to live a life of
godliness, and it’s a free gift. This free gift, in the same breath, costs us everything that we hold dear… Jesus replaces what we have given up with eternal satisfaction, and a hope that does not disappoint.
We experience this giving up of our will, our desire for self-importance, and instead
take on the role of servant of the Most High God. And the peace that passes all understanding be yours, in increasing measure. Blessings.