Tag Archives: Easter

A Time to Wait

We spend a lot of our lives waiting:- waiting in queues, waiting for children to come out of school, waiting for our tax refund.

On Friday I made hot cross buns. As with all yeast cookery, it is a long process and involves a lot of waiting. After mixing and kneading all the ingredients, there is a time of waiting for the dough to rise. When it has doubled in size, it gets punched down to size and kneaded again. I have an electric bread-maker which performs those tasks for me. I just have to form the buns then wait for them to double in size again. It would be no good putting them into the oven before they have risen. They would turn out like stones. The waiting is necessary for the final product. The buns have to be at the right stage of readiness before the next stage can take place.

Image by alisonyo from Pixabay (My hot cross buns were a bit of a flop. They hardly rose at all)

God also waits for the right stage of readiness before He acts. He could have raised Jesus on the Saturday, but the time was not yet right. God’s timing is always perfect. Sometimes we don’t understand why the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers immediately. We don’t understand all the processes that need to take place before the time is right.

Easter Saturday is a time of waiting. “Waiting for God to do what only God can do. And of all the kinds of waiting we can do, there is no waiting more difficult than waiting on God!” (from Rosebank Union Church Holy Saturday Prayer Retreat)

There are different ways to cope with the waiting of Easter Saturday. We can look back on Friday and stay locked in fear, disappointment and depression. We can look forward to Sunday, trusting in God’s promises and His faithfulness. We can look around at the gifts and opportunities that are unique to Saturday. If there is a friend to bring comfort, we can rejoice in the gift of friendship, if there is a beautiful sunset, beautiful art, beautiful music or delicious food, we can appreciate and enjoy them. Perhaps we notice somebody else to whom we can be a blessing.

Most likely, our waiting will be a mixture of these different view points, but as we wait more and more on God, we can use our waiting period more and more for His glory and our growth.

Psalm 27 v 13-14 reads, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; and wait for the Lord.” (ESV)

My Prayer

Lord, I am not good at waiting. Please teach me the self-control to wait patiently and to trust You, no matter what. May I not waste the waiting times You have set for my growth. Amen.

The Choice

Yesterday my middle granddaughter had her ears pierced. She jumped about joyfully as she went with her Mom to Cresta to the jewelers. She knew it was going to be painful but it was her choice for her eighth birthday present. For the joy of being able to wear pretty earrings like her sister does, she endured the procedure.

First the ears were marked to get the placing correct.

Jesus also made a choice.

Next week we remember Good Friday and Christ’s crucifixion. Probably the best known verse in the Bible is John3: 16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)

We are mistaken when we think that Jesus was a victim. Jesus has the same love for us as the Father. “The Puritans would often speak about the Father and Son agreeing in eternity past, both of them together, to redeem a sinful people. Theologians call this the pactum salutus, the ‘covenant of redemption,’ referring to what the triune God agreed upon before the creation of the world” (From Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland.)

Christ had a choice. Nobody could kill Him against His will. He said, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:17-18 ESV)

Why would Jesus choose to do this? The Bible explains it thus: “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,… (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

The joy that Jesus kept in mind was the joy of having a relationship with us, of doing life with us, the joy of being able to welcome us to where He is and to spend eternity with us.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You that You love me that much; that You chose me. Amen.

Lockdown Day 17 Easter Sunday

This image was forwarded to me on WhatsApp

I will never forget this Easter in the middle of Lockdown 2020. Thanks so much to Rosebank Union Church, Pastor Richard and the other pastors, Michael and the tech guys, the worship team and everybody involved in making these lockdown Easter services so special.

On Friday morning we watched an excellent compilation of images, narrative, scripture, worship, sermon and prayer, followed by a live communion service. We prepared our own elements and shared communion with those locked down with us. This is something we’ve never experienced with our family before.

Our church’s outreach arm, Rays of Hope, who work with vulnerable families in Alexandra, had a break-in last week and, among other things, all their masks due for distribution to the poor in Alex were stolen. They have called on the congregation to make fabric masks – we need 1 600. So Saturday saw me sewing masks.

Today, Resurrection Sunday, our church really outdid itself! The service was streamed live and included our own worship team, singing together through digital technology, our amazing ventriloquist with the children’s message, and a rousing and victorious sermon. Well done everybody.

After doing an Easter egg hunt, the family decided to share Easter eggs with our four immediate neighbours.

Again, something we’ve never done before. Perhaps this will lead to closer relationships with our neighbours.

We enjoyed a shared lunch under the gazebo which everybody thoroughly enjoyed, despite snacking on Easter eggs during the morning.

Perhaps this special Easter will grow tendrils into our future, helping us re-examine the things we take for granted and the things we’ve always done a certain way because that is the way we were brought up.

As Christ has died for reconciliation, let us be reconciled to God, our neighbours, our planet and ourselves. Happy Easter!

“Egg”sperimentally

This post is part of Streams of Consciousness Saturday.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 

This week’s challenge is to use the word “egg”, which brings up the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg is therefore a symbol of life although depending which species you are looking at, it could also be seed, spore, or embryo. In any case, it is a very good symbol of Easter because Easter is all about the new life in Christ because of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. I have always preferred buying Easter eggs rather than chickens, bunnies or the like. May this Easter be a blessing and a start of new life in one way or another for you all.