Tag Archives: pain

Easter Is Coming!!!!

Good Friday?
Good Friday?

Christians are talking about Easter. What does it mean? For some, Easter is just another long weekend. For youngsters, the Easter bunny comes. For Christians, Easter is a journey from the pain of Good Friday to the joy of Jesus’ resurrection. We call this week “Holy Week” – the last week of Jesus’ life as a human being walking this earth.

Jesus begins his week angry with the injustice that is happening everywhere. At the temple in Jerusalem, he flips over the tables of the money changers who are cheating the poor. He sets the frightened sacrificial animals free. His voice thunders out across the courtyard, “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.” And that is only Monday.

By Thursday, he has set up a last meal with his friends. He knows what’s coming. He needs their companionship in his pain. He offers them his last bits of wisdom. “Remember me. Serve others. Trust in God.” And finally after all the torture, all the pain, comes the relief of death.

Many of us have walked this journey with a loved one. My mother suffered with a cancer so excruciating the strongest drugs brought no relief. Yes, death can bring release.

We have named the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” for two reasons. It brought Jesus release from his anguish, and it was the first step toward his transformation, his new life. For Jesus and for all of us, death is not the end, it is the beginning: the beginning of a new life. That’s the Easter story.

This coming week, think about your life, pick out the glimpses of new life – of Easter – that mark the guide posts in your journey through joy and sorrow. Watch and pray. Know that Easter is coming as surely as the sun will rise every morning.

“Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!”  (John 20:18)

Which did you celebrate? Mother’s Day or Christian Family Sunday?

I do apologize for being late with this. Life happens.

Which did you celebrate?  

By Janet Stobie

As I planned worship every year, I struggled to decide between celebrating “Mother’s Day” or “Christian Family Sunday”. In today’s world, families seem to be at risk. Often a child has two families, one with Mom and one with Dad. Even when a child lives with two parents, often only Mom appears to be determined to teach her child the Christian faith. Besides, not everyone is a mother so Mother’s Day leaves out and even causes pain for some women. So celebrating the Christian family in all its forms is important and valuable. Still, most often, I chose to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Why? Although all of us may not be mothers, all of us have a mother. Whether we love and respect our mother, were disappointed or hurt by our mother, or don’t even know who is she is, still, we do have a mother. Sometimes our neighbor or a family friend has taken the place of our mother.

From conception, mother offers the egg – the fruit of her being, her body – the child’s first home, her life-blood – food for being and growing. Whether willing or not, being a mother requires offering your whole being to this child. A mother’s love, when given freely and healthily, is precious and life giving.

Of course, it’s not all beautiful. The pain and joy of birth is only the beginning. Becoming mother (in any form) means committing our entire lifetime to loving, teaching, challenging this new human being. Not every mother accepts that commitment, but those who do need our support and appreciation, not on just one day, but every day of the year. Therefore, I believe the church needs to set aside one Sunday every year, to celebrate God’s love and presence in mothers. As Christians we are called to love and support not just our own mother, but all mothers as they strive to be the people and the mothers that God intends them to be. We can choose another Sunday for the much needed celebration of Christian Family.

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.”2 Timothy 1:5

 

 

 

 

What I Have Is Enough!

female_back_ache

In June, at church, I told my story, “A Boy and His Lunch”. It is a retelling of the Bible story called “Feeding the Five Thousand.” That particular morning wasn’t a good day. I hadn’t slept well. As I ate my breakfast, my ailing back screaming with pain, I wondered if I would survive leading worship. I prayed, “God I need your energy. I’m barely moving this morning. Please carry me.”

On the way to the church, I rehearsed the story in my mind and came to the lines “Even then, at the age of eight, I knew my lunch was just a drop in Jesus’ ocean of need. There would be enough for him and maybe even some of his friends but that crowd of thousands, no not at all. Jesus said it was just what he needed. And it was. It truly was.”

I thought about my aching back and the tiny bit of energy I had that morning. “OK God,” I prayed, “I’m giving you all that I have. I can do no more. The rest is up to you.” I envisioned Jesus reaching out to me and taking my hand.

“You’re all I need this morning Janet,” he said. “Thank you, Father for Janet’s gift of commitment and storytelling.”

I felt God’s blessing of peace and strength descend upon me. I flew through that service. I felt God’s Spirit pour forth as I told the story and served communion. God used my offering and all were fed. I went on to do a funeral service in the afternoon and enjoy supper out with friends. Yes, I was exhausted when the day was over. Pain had descended again. Yet I was filled with joy.

I gave what I had. That is all God asks. God took care of the rest. Thanks be to God.

Andrew said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?…Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.”  (John 6:9 & 11)