I Love God

Good Friday

It is Holy Week 2017. This is a week of reverence and remembrance in the Christian community of faith. This week symbolizes a foundational truth of our faith – the life, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Today, Good Friday, is the day Jesus fulfilled prophecy. His people, the Jews strongly urged the high priest to crucify, the King. They chose to spare the life of a radical revolutionary who committed murder during protests for the life of a radical revolutionary who performed miracles while enduring protests.

This year, I wondered why this Friday was labeled as “Good.” The easy answer is that it was good that He was crucified for a sinner, such as I. His death for my life. But reading the description of the events of that day do not depict anything good. He was taken to court with no lawyer, subpoena, or jury of His peers. His accusers had no just cause for their rage other than a fulfillment of scripture. He was classified as the King of the Jews. After his sentencing of capital punishment, He was bound, hand and foot. Then he was beaten. The whip as described by Robert Gidley (2000):

The whip had iron balls tied a few inches from the end of each leather thong on the whip. Sometimes, sharp sheep bones would be tied near the ends. The iron balls would cause deep bruising, while the leather thongs cut deep into the skin. The sheep bones would hasten the process of cutting into the skin. After a few lashes the skin would be cut through, and the muscle would begin to be cut. Blood loss was considerable, and the pain would probably put the victim in a state of shock. (para. 7)

Then the soldiers, to mock Him,  placed a purple (color of royalty, dignity) robe upon his shoulders, placed a sceptre (a reed) in His hand, and a crown of thorns upon his head. They repeatedly cried, “Hail, the King of the Jews.” Once they had their fun, He was stripped of His robe and then He was then forced to carry His cross which weighed about 100 lbs. But after being beaten so, he was too weak to carry Himself much less the cross to Golgotha (place of a Skull) where the crucifixion would take place so the soldiers found a man to carry the cross for Him.

Once they arrived, the cross was laid down and His body was placed and then nailed. They drove spikes into his wrists, not His hands,  so they could carry the weight of His body. One leg was placed atop the other and the spikes were driven into his feet. A sign reading, “This is Jesus The King of the Jews” was nailed a the top of the cross, written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Then the cross was raised and placed on the hill, Calvary. His body gave into gravity. He hung there for 6 hours: placed on the cross around 9 am; at noon, darkness set upon the earth; and it was 3 pm when He cried to God and His humanity was released. He felt forsaken. But he then released His last breath and died.

How is it that something so horrific and disturbing could be declared good? But that is how God works. He takes what is deemed evil and declares it good. We reflect on this time and are reminded of the pain endured from head to toe: a crown of thorns forced into His head until blood ran down, stripes placed on His back until His flesh was exposed, spikes several inches long hammered into His bones. The thought of that level of sacrifice pierces my emotions. I am humbled by the notion that despite the pain and the shame, He thought of me. He had my birth, my joys, my bruises, my disappointments, my triumphs, my hurt, my aches, my achievements, my sins, and my grace on His mind. This is the God I have chosen to serve and that I respectfully honor today and all weekend long.

It is a good Friday, God’s Friday and I am grateful.

 

Give Love. Get Love.

 

Gidley, R. (2000). The facts of the crucifixion. The Cross Reading. Retrieved from http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/common-misconceptions/the-facts-of-crucifixion.html

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I Love God · Self Love

100 days

Today is the 100th day of 2017. In most elementary schools, they count up to the 100th day of the school year and celebrate in various ways (i.e. bringing 100 items to school, dressing up as someone who is 100 years old, having a party, etc.).

But what will you do to signify the fact that you have made it through one season of this year? The country is in political turmoil. The citizens of Flint still do not have access to clean water. Innocent people are still being murdered every day, especially here in my hometown. Even the governor of this great state of Alabama has turned in his resignation because of uncivil acts committed while in office. Yet, you can say that there is still purpose for you.

I choose to see this day as a fresh start. It is a chance to say that tomorrow will be 1 – 101 – a continuation. It is a comma – to pause and calmly think about my next move for the remainder 265 days. A period to end and start a new paragraph or close the book altogether. An exclamation point to say, “Yes, there is still more for me to do! I am NOT running out of time!” A question mark to ask myself, “What can I do better? What actually worked? When will I resume my workouts or start yoga?”

100 signifies an election. The word election stems from the Latin eligere meaning to “pick out.” So today, I have elected to reflect over the past 99 days and pick today as the day to begin to conquer my fears, move past my insecurities, and just do it. My faith is urging me to really do IT.

We were taught that 100 means the end. But it’s only April and Spring just started getting good. Excuse me while I wipe off my rose-colored glasses, adjust my curls away from my face, and exhale, “please count with me…..101, 102, 103, 104, 105. . . .”

 

Give love. Get love.

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I Love God

What is Love ?

 
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For me, ♥ Love ♥ is so many things. It is a feeling, an action, an expression, an ideal. It is God.

I do not recall when I fell in love with the word, feeling and idea of LOVE. But when I did, I fell hard. It is such a simple yet deep concept. It makes or breaks people and relationships. It can be easily ignored and expressed. But my heart knows it, feels it and is constantly making me find ways to express it.

If I learn a friend’s favorite food, color, drink, or past time,  I will find a way to randomly surprise them with a gift. When I see a new mom, I trip over myself trying to offer my assistance. Hearing a simple worship song or reading a scripture reminds me of how much love God has shown me. Then I repeat the cycle by looking for ways to express that love.

Love is an action. It is an expression of the words that you confess with your mouth. Ultimately, love is sacrifice. If God is surrender his only son for the world, then we should be able to provide the same level of commitment in our own worlds.

Give love. Get love.

What does love mean to you? What is your love language?