"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." ~~Thomas Jefferson

"Who will protect us from those who protect us?"

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ~ Thomas Jefferson

"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." ~~Goethe

30 March 2018

Good Friday...

"On Thursday as they ate the Passover meal with Jesus, the disciples believed that the kingdom was coming and they were on the front end of a revolution. Then came the tragedy of Friday and, somehow even worse, the silence of Saturday. They ran. They doubted. They despaired. Yet, within the grave, God's power was still flowing like a mighty river beneath the ice of winter. And then there was Sunday morning."

~~~A.J. Swoboda "A Glorious Dark"


Anonymous said...

This really touched me today. I thought you might appreciate it.
“Many moons ago, on this somber day of recognizing the most gracious gift ever given to man, a group of Middle School youth and a few parents were taking their Church youth groups’ annual cross walk as a way to move their growing faith’s connection to a personal and intimate level.
I came across the migration, half way through their 7 Mile walk, carrying the heavy symbol of their Christ’s sacrifice. I stopped to talk and say hi on that cold drizzly morning. The kids were still energized but were beginning to lose steam. One of their adult leaders, Ron Bartek, challenged me in good natured fun saying,”Craig, I’ll give $100 to the youth ministry if you carry the cross for a mile”! Well, taking the lighthearted challenge as an opportunity to be a part of the fun - I said “Sure”.
The 4 kids currently dragging the cross transferred their load to my shoulders. I took the cross, as now my weight to bear, for the next 5,280 feet.
The kids, their responsibilities now elsewhere began laughing, jumping through the ditches and messing around as we headed north on County Road 20. The laughter and conversations continued freely for the first half mile but slowly faded in my mind. This darn thing was heavy, required adjustment occasionally and was now my own personal burden. I thought of and felt now, in small measure, a closeness to that walk up Calvary. How was he able to continue after all he’d been through? My feet hurt - but I failed to remember I’d not put on socks - as I pulled on my rubber and leather boots when I’d left home earlier, on the short trip for horse hay in my truck. I hadn’t thought I’d be hauling a heavy load , on foot, for a mile.
The kids and adults had gone ahead in their fast pace of youth and enjoyment of the day. I looked up and could see, a 1/4 Mile ahead, the group waiting and the end to my discomfort.
It was now personal for me, this child of God, this son, this man not worthy of his ultimate gift.
I switched the load to my other shoulder for the last hundred yards and met the kids at the intersection to again turn over to them this heavy cross. I smiled and bid them safe journey for the last 2 miles of their treck.
One of the adults gave me a lift back to my truck and I sat on my tailgate to breathe deeply the fresh air and think about the last 1/2 hour.
I pulled off my boots to see the results of my sock-less journey. My ankles and the tops of my feet were bleeding, rubbed raw and skin missing from the points of contact with rubber and leather edges. This minor discomfort, in small measure, reminded me of this day’s pain, anguish and wonder of “why me father” so many centuries ago.
I now had a closer connection to this celebration of sacrifice and will long feel - deeply - that which was given for me.
I want to thank those kids, those parents and especially Ron Bartek, for that gauntlet of challenge he laid at my feet that morning. Each of you brought me closer to my faith without knowing the roles you played.
That too was a lesson I took forward. We have no idea who we touch or move by living our faith on our sleeves each day during the mundane and normal life travails of the day.

Have a glorious Easter! And safe travels today Bethlehem Lutheran Youth Middle School ministry in your crosswalk!!!”

I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife.

Blue said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. It does my heart good :)

My church is also Bethlehem Lutheran, though it is in Cedar Falls, Iowa...

Thank you for your condolences. It has been almost a year. Actually, she died on Holy Wednesday last year. I miss her soooooo very much.