April 11 - 16
Monday, April 11 – “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) The shortest verse in the Bible, speaks volumes about the nature of God. Is God a God of justice? Does God love his people? God’s isn’t looking for opportunities to punish, like some vindictive tyrant. God disciplines the ones he loves. But not without compassion and sorrow. In fact, to not discipline would be a sign that God doesn’t love. For to love is to care for and to want better for. When you experience the discipline of God know that you are being loved by God. For God knows what is better for you and wants to push you to receive better from your life.
Tuesday, April 12 – “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations.” (Ezekiel 5:8) There is a time for every season under heaven and there is a time for discipline to be handed out. It does no good to threaten, if you aren’t going to back your words up with action. Sometimes one must punish in order to demonstrate that obedience is necessary. Show me a parent that doles out empty threats of punishment and I will show you a child that will do whatever they want. Accountability and discipline aren’t the absence of love, they are a sign of love.
Wednesday, April 13 – “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37) It was only three days ago when Jerusalem was singing Jesus’ praises as the coming Messiah. Yet, even in that triumphant entry, Jesus knew that this week would spell disaster, not for him, but for Jerusalem. Jesus’ heart was broken over what was and what would be. In the same way that your heart is broken when someone you love lies right to your face. There is nothing you can do but stand there broken hearted, hoping for something better.
Maundy Thursday – “The chief priests and teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.” (Mark 11:18) The very ones who should have seen Jesus for who he was were the very ones who were making plans to kill him. Not because he was doing something wrong. Not that he was some sort of thief or murderer. But because he threatened their power. For “the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching”. Power corrupts completely. These leaders were already gone, their hearts were already hardened. Nothing could change their minds. Not even God showing up in the flesh. May we all learn a lesson from their example.
Good Friday – “These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7) Words of prophecy spoken some 500 years before the birth of Jesus. The very words that would serve as the heart break that Jesus would feel as he witnessed the money changers and the sacrificial animal sellers in the Temple. Today embrace everything in this world that has been created by God and is being perverted by humans. The perversion of love. The perversion of power. The perversion of nations. The perversion of religion. The perversion of family. The perversion of life. No other reaction to have but that of Jesus – to weep.
Saturday, April 16 – “Give us each day our daily bread.” (Luke 11:3) What is one to do in the face of all the perversion of God’s creation and intentions? Pray for God to meet you today and to provide what you need today. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. So, today be present and pray for God to be present with you. No matter your circumstance. No matter your situation. No matter what hand life has dealt you. Pray for God to meet you right here, right now and to give you today’s “daily bread”. Friday has come and gone. But Sunday is coming! So, just be here, with God, on this Saturday.