Holy Thursday

Happy Holy Thursday to you! I hope you have plans to go to a worship service tonight.

Tonight is the night we remember:

1) The last supper.

2) Jesus washes the disciples feet.

3) His agony in Gethsemane.

4) His arrest.

5) His trial.

If you can’t make a service tonight, read your favorite Gospel account, or all the Gospel accounts of Holy Thursday, and remember, give thanks to Him who gave His all for you.

Blessed are they who mourn…

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt. 5:4

Those who allow themselves to be distracted by things, as stated last week, are rarely as in touch  with their need for God, as those who suffer or mourn. Jesus, addressing the crowd of disciples, knows they can relate to poverty and mourning, it surrounded them every day. Yet Jesus promises that they will indeed be comforted.

What should we mourn about?  I believe it is sin. Personal and social.

First, if we can’t grieve over our own personal sin and repent, turning back to God, then mourning over social sins will be impossible! When was the last time we prayed for the conversion of an abortion doctor, a homosexual, a drug addict?  When was the last time we prayed or displayed God’s love to any of these people ? And yet, every above mentioned sin has an effect on each one of us.

I had a huge disconnect with this, until recently. I used to think my personal sin, effected no one but myself. But I was wrong. My personal sin effects my family, friends and faith community all, at one level or another. We are the people of God, His family, if I suffer we all suffer, if I am honored we all rejoice (1 Cor. 12:26).

If I cannot mourn over social sins and pray for God’s grace, and actively offer God’s grace to this fallen world, then I need to go back  to the first beatitude and recognize who I am before God.

..so that they may be one just as we are

This prayer of Jesus’ is recorded in the gospel of John chapter 17.The whole sentence is:

And now I will no longer be in the world,but they are in the world,while I am coming to you.Holy Father,keep them in your name,that you have given me,so that they may be one just as we are.

Ever wonder what he meant by this? Ever study it? Ever heard it?

All the apostles were there at the last supper,except Judas(by this time).And Jesus prays that they may be one.We know that as the followers of Christ started facing persecution,they all dispersed, including the apostles.How could they remain one?

Simple.They taught what Jesus taught them,where ever Jesus led them.

Why is it sooooo difficult to be one? Because we are not one.

Jesus didn’t pray for John’s followers,then Peter’s,then Matthew’s.No.He prayed that they be one as he and his Father are one.Has Jesus ever become dis-unified with his Father?Of course not!And yet we are not one.Is his prayer in vain?

Jesus didn’t list a bunch of denominations and ask them to be one.And he didn’t establish a million different churches with a million different teachings.Is it not logical,and scriptural,to say that Jesus established one Church with one teaching?Here’s verse 20 and 21of the same chapter:I pray not only for them,but also for those who will believe in me through their word,so that they may all be one,as you,Father,are in me and I in you,that they also may be in us,that the world may believe that you sent me.

He says if we are not one,we are not in them,but if we are one we will be in them and the world may believe that the Father sent the Son.

Is that not an indictment on today’s church?Does it not reveal our weakness? For if Christians can’t get along with each other,Christ’s prayer is in vain,and the Father is rendered powerless.No wonder the outside world won’t believe…we give them nothing to believe in!

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

The 9 beatitudes  are an introduction to the sermon on the mount.  The sermon then goes into greater detail of living out the beatitudes in everyday life.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of God.  Matt. 5:3

The definition of blessed is, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, enjoying the eternal happiness of heaven. Jesus pronounces this blessing first and foremost,to those who are poor in spirit.

Most people in Jesus’ day were poor, they knew what it was like to have nothing. Jesus himself knew this, but he went a little deeper in his teaching than just saying “those without money or possessions,” he said “poor in spirit.”

Most of us are certainly not poor. We may be broke, but we’re not like Jews in first century Palestine. We have food in our fridge, two things they didn’t have at all. But we have plenty of things, and if we are not careful, “things” can distract, impede or sever our reliance upon God.

I believe this is the key point  to this beatitude, and if we miss it, we will lose the rest of the entire sermon .

Our dependence is to be placed entirely on God, physically and spiritually !

If we don’t, can’t or won’t do this, we’ll simply go about living our lives the way we want  and not the way God intends . Missing the blessing that he wants to give to His children, who love and obey Him.

In the beginning was the Word…

Welcome to A word on The Word.The purpose of this blog is to look at and study The Word of God,a little at a time,and apply it to everyday life.As a Christian of 27 years, and a disciple for 17,this is a way that I can be obedient to Jesus’ words to “..go and make disciples…”.

I hope you participate in,and find these observations helpful in your own spiritual journey, as I’m sure they will be in my own.