The Funeral of God

heisrisen2 copyThe Church had learnt,
not at the end
but at the beginning
of her centuries,
that the funeral
of God is always
a premature burial.
   
 –G. K. Chesterton

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The worse thing is not the last

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When Defeat was Defeated

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When Hell’s hatred inspired cruel hands to nail Jesus of Nazareth to a Roman cross—the victim turned everything around and became the Victor.

On that cross death was defeated, the Serpent’s head was crushed, the curse was annulled, sin was overthrown, guilt was eradicated, captives were set free, Hell was humiliated, and Love won.

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Someone said that “a successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” Jesus took the cross, the nails, the cruelty, the injustice, the mocking, and hatred—and laid a firm foundation for a new world, a New Creation.

“And through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20).

It doesn’t get any more “successful” that.

–Jurgen O. Schulz

Image: The Cross by Thomas Kinkade

What God Does

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Jesus Christ is what God does,
and the cross is where God did it.
–Frederick Buechner

GOOD FRIDAY

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AM I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon—
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

Christina Rossetti
(1830–1894)

Death, Life, and Trees

1200740_f248 copyDo you see how the devil is defeated by the very weapons of his prior victory? The devil had vanquished Adam by means of a tree. Christ vanquished the devil by means of the tree of the Cross. The tree sent Adam to hell. The tree of the Cross brought him back from there. The tree revealed Adam in his weakness, laying prostrate, naked and low. The tree of the Cross manifested to all the world the victorious Christ, naked, and nailed on high. Adam’s death sentence passed on to all who came after him. Christ’s death gave life to all his children.

–John Chrysostom,
4th century bishop

Published in: on 03/23/2016 at 8:47  Comments (1)  
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What is your picture of God?

JesusInCrowd3The foundation for . . . Christianity as a whole—is the claim that God looks like Jesus . . . Jesus spent his ministry freeing people from evil and misery. This is what God seeks to do. Jesus wars against spiritual forces that oppress people and resist God’s good purposes. This is what God does. Jesus loved people others rejected—even people who rejected him. This is how God loves. Jesus had nothing but compassion for people who were afflicted by sin, disease and tragedy. This is how God feels. And Jesus died on the cross of Calvary suffering in the place of sinful humanity, defeating sin and the devil, because he passionately loves people and wants to reconcile them to God. This is how God saves.

–Gregory Boyd
Is God to Blame?

Rivers and swamps

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The difference between a river and a swamp is that one has banks and the other has none. The swamp is very gracious and kindly, it spreads over everything, hence it is a swamp. Some of us are moral and spiritual swamps. We are so broad and liberal that we taken in everything from the shady to the sacred… We tolerate everything in our lives and hence we must finally tolerate our own spiritual paralysis. Paul said, “This one thing I do;” we would have said, “These forty things I dabble in.” He was a river. We are swamps. There lies the difference.

—E. Stanley Jones,
The Christ of Every Road

The heart that we need

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Give me O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection
will drag downwards.
Give me an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out.
Give me an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose
may tempt aside.

–Thomas Aquinas

God explained

blank squareChrist 25 copy Jesus is the exegesis,
the exposition,
the explanation of God.
We cannot know God
outside of Christ.
There IS no God
outside of Jesus.
He’s God enfleshed.
      –Frank Viola

Love seeks our wholeness

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To ask that God’s love
should be content with us
as we are is to ask that God
should cease to be God.

–C. S. Lewis

Published in: on 03/02/2016 at 7:19  Leave a Comment  
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