Master There’s Still More

This is Easter Sunday – the day that we Christians base our entire faith upon. Some of us are having some big dinners together with family and the scene in Bethany, where they were honoring Jesus with a feast is very much like that. John’s gospel tells us that his disciples and closest friends were all there. Everyone was talking and enjoying the great food when Mary quietly entered. At first no one noticed her, but then she took an alabaster jar filled with perfumed oil, broke it open and began to pour the oil on the head of Jesus. The Bible says that fragrance filled the air and one by one people fell silent and turned their heads to see what was going on. John tells us that Mary anointed the feet of Jesus while in Matthew says she poured it on His head. In this song which I wrote for an Easter play a few years ago I imagine that she did both, because after pouring some on the head of Jesus, she saw that she still had more. Do you still have more for the Master this Easter? It doesn’t matter what others say or think. he is quietly waiting for us to share all we have, even if it seems a waste to others. Not one drop of the fragrance of our worship will be too much for Him!

If you would like to use my song, please just let me know. I will be glad to send you song sheets and give permission to use it without charge. You can contact me at Revpete51@gmail.com – God bless and Happy Easter all!

A Sabbath Day’s Journey

Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. Acts 1:12 KJV

I love the tradition of keeping a Sabbath, and having worked in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, I learned from my friends that one way they keep it is by living close enough so that on the Sabbath, they could walk to synagogue. Seeing them marching with their children down to temple seemed as timely and beautiful as lilacs in bloom or robins returning in the Spring. Their community was bound together by the time-honored tradition of “A Sabbath Day’s Journey.” While the exact length of the journey is in dispute, most believe this to have been the prescribed distance between the people and the tabernacle in the wilderness. It also comes from the Old Testament book of Exodus, where God tells His people, that they could gather the manna only on the first six days of the week, but on the Sabbath,” Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.”

But what about today? What does a “Sabbath Day’s Journey” mean for us? Here are three thoughts about that journey. First, a Sabbath journey is for going to worship God. This journey is something God calls us to every week as we gather with other believers. He knows how easy it is for our heart to wander and corporate worship helps puts our focus back on Jesus. Don’t allow guilt or worry about what others think or say to keep you from going to God’s house. Meeting together is our Sabbath day’s journey to Him. Second, the Sabbath Day’s Journey gives us an opportunity to help a neighbor. Jesus pointed out that even the Pharisees stopped to pull an animal out of a pit or bring them water on the Sabbath. All week we run as fast as we can and work as much as we can to meet our own needs. A Sabbath day journey is an opportunity that God gives us to meet the needs of others. If someone is sick, why not visit or at least try making a phone call? Is there someone you know who is lonely? Why not invite them over for a meal? God doesn’t get into specifics about how we love our neighbors. He just tells us to do it and then leaves the details up to us.

Last, a Sabbath day’s journey is the one that Jesus made regularly to heal. I used to think that He did this just to irritate the Pharisees, but then I realized that He chose the holiest day of the week because people matter more to Him than anything else. A Sabbath day’s journey was the journey Jesus made from Heaven to earth for you and me. He was resting nicely in Heaven. He didn’t need to leave His home, but He did. He chose His Sabbath day’s journey to come, and His journey ended when He said, “It is finished!” So, on this next Sabbath day let’s take a journey to meet for worship, let’s find someone we can serve and most of all let’s be thankful that Jesus took a Sabbath day’s journey from Heaven just to come and walk with us!

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Longing to Know Him

That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death – Philippians 3:10 ESV

Sometimes I have thought it strange that the Apostle Paul shares that He has a desire to know Christ. I mean of all the people, surely Paul knew Christ better than anyone. Yet Paul pauses in his letter to tell his friends that even after serving God for years, through both success and suffering, now locked in a Roman jail he still longs to really know Christ. How can this be? Did Paul not know the Jesus who had met him on the road to Damascus? Was this not the man who was spoken to by angels and had been used to spread the gospel to half the known world? If he didn’t know Jesus, then what about the rest of us? But I believe that what Paul is saying, is that he needs to do more than know – he needs to experience the power and presence of Jesus Christ. It is like when a child cries at night. He knows his parents are right in the next room, but he needs them to come closer. He wants them to come near enough to touch, near enough to remind Him again, that they are there and that he is their child. Paul in his prison cell, was that child. In spite of all he had accomplished for Christ and all He had seen in visions and dreams; Paul knew that he needed to know more of Jesus Christ. He needed to rest in His power and to take comfort that Christ shared in his sufferings. He longed to find there, right in that jail cell, the assurance that God was with Him and that he was right where he belonged. What do you need today? Jesus says to simply ask, and He promises that we will receive. When we really pray, God really listens, and He promises to come so that we can know Him more!