christical

Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

Good Friday: The Buffalo. March 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christical @ 5:54 pm
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Good Friday is like a buffalo in the middle of a trail you’re hiking on. Ignoring it and going on your way, as well as throwing yourself into it, is a bad idea.

No; we respect the buffalo.

Likewise, thinking about the gory and bloody death of Jesus on the cross (especially how He died in OUR place) is not an easy topic. However, it is the rock on which we stand. Through that cross, we have salvation and life.

Is it hard to see that God payed the ultimate price to free us? Yes. Is it mentally painful to know that your sin did that to him? Yes. But remember John 3:16–God loved the world in such a way that He gave His son, that whoever believes in Him won’t die, but have eternal life.

Hear that? Our guilt doesn’t have to remain! Our God doesn’t keep obsessive records of our every deed. Jesus conquered death and freed us from that obsessive record-keeping. Now, we have family. We have identity. We are healed.

Have an observant Good Friday. May God bless our hearts.

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Lukewarm February 24, 2013

Filed under: Applied Faith,Within the Church — christical @ 9:00 am
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‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:15, 16, 19 NASB)

I’ll admit that church unsettles me sometimes.

You may be the same way. If so, I don’t blame you; it’s a strange feeling, sitting on a bench in a big creaky building with red carpeting where old ladies glare at you if you smile. But that’s not what bothers me.

Look at the faces of the congregation the next time someone gives a reading from the Passion (this will likely be very soon, considering it’s Lent). You will most likely see little, if any, shows of strong emotion.

This lukewarmness is uncanny. We’re reading a story about God, who came to earth, suffered pain and humiliation, and died hanging on a cross. Mind you, he did this as a perfectly innocent human, not to justify himself, but with the entire weight of humanity on his shoulders.

And yet, most Christians will react to that quite calmly.

Part of me thinks, “They’ve come to peace with their mortality and see the beauty in Christ’s sacrifice, good for them.” Part of me flails my arms and runs out the door screaming because who can come to peace with the idea of Jesus giving Himself to pay for the damage that our own sin has caused?

Christianity is supposed to make us uncomfortable.

Christianity is supposed to make us do double takes.

God’s love is dangerous. It challenges the logic humans treasure dearly. However, as a Christian, I know I have failed to reflect that. It seems like religion has failed to reflect that, too.

Only following the Law without thinking about the Spirit behind the Law fails to reflect that. Especially now, I cannot stress enough the importance of the fact that there’s no magic number when it comes to God. Unless we seek to see God’s love, everything else is nothing.

At church, I will gaze upon that cross and see nothing but love. God did what he did because He loved us in such a way that He’d give Jesus to take our place. We’d live and love and be free in the eternal benefits of that one sacrifice: Jesus’ own life.

I don’t know about you, but with that magnitude of news, it’s impossible for me to be lukewarm.

Questions of the day: how warm is Luke? Why is he so warm? And why does he get an adjective to himself?

—The Jesus Freak Girl

 

Lent Sacrifice Withdrawl February 16, 2013

Filed under: Christian Culture — christical @ 3:15 pm
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Thanks to orthodoxcatholocism.com for the picture.

Lent is a season in the church known for (1) soup suppers and (2) sacrificing something for the duration of the season.

Among the most popular choices are candy, certain television shows, and meat.

However, among Christian circles, one of several awkward conversations can ensue when discussing Lent sacrifices.

~CONVERSATION ONE~
Person A: So what did you give up for Lent?
Me: What?
Person A: It’s Lent. What did you give up?
Me: (pauses) Um . . . Nothing?
Person A: Oh.

~CONVERSATION TWO~
Me: So did you give anything up for Lent?
Person B: Yes, I did.
Me: Cool, so did I! What did you give up?
Person B: I decided to fast every Friday and devote three hours each day to fervent prayer and Bible study, even more if I’ll feel like it. It’s great to discipline yourself and be so filled with the Holy Spirit? Did I mention that I’ve also decided to modestly deflect every compliment I receive? (laughs) What did you give up?
Me: Well . . . I gave up candy. But then I realized that the day after was Valentine’s Day, and my best friend’s mom made peppermint bark, so . . . I gave up candy every day except Valentine’s Day.

~CONVERSATION THREE~
Me: So, Pastor, did you give anything up for Lent?
Pastor: Jesus says we’re not supposed to brag.
Me: Oh . . .

At best, Lent allows us to reflect on our mortality and devote time to prayer. It seems to turn quickly into a holiness war, though, doesn’t it?

During this season, I pray that we will remain focused on our Savior. Let us remember that we can use Lent to spiritually discipline ourselves to be more like Christ.

—JFG

Has anyone experienced an awkward Lent conversation?

 

 
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