Easter: Imagine Sorrow Changed

Lon —  April 19, 2014 — 1 Comment

Hello Everyone,

We all know that tomorrow is Easter. We all have our family traditions for celebrating it. May the warmth of your celebration be everything you hope.

Sunrise over three crosses

But, I’d like to ask that you join me today and tomorrow in imagining what it must have been like for Jesus’ followers early that Sunday morning, before the sun had risen, before they knew He had risen.

Imagine walking to the tomb with with several women, mourning, sobs in their throats, to prepare His body for burial.

Imagine hiding with His disciples in a darkened, barricaded room for fear of arrest.

Imagine Mary, weeping at the empty tomb, frantic, begging the gardner to tell her where he had laid (hidden? stolen? desecrated?) the body.

And only after you begin to imagine that dark frame of mind—the most utter despair—only then…

Try to imagine their joy.

How it must have changed everything they believed about Him, about themselves, about life in the world.

Strange that we so seldom remember it.

Strange that we are so little changed by it.

Dawn and I pray that joy will find you tomorrow in congregational worship as you imagine, and hear the announcement,

CHRIST IS RISEN!

and proclaim,

CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!

On this Good Friday, the day Christians worldwide remember Jesus’ God-ordained crucifixion by the hands of lawless men (Acts 2:23), I will dispense with the usual Photo Friday to share this video instead.

The audio is an excerpt from S. M. Lockridge’s famously inspiring sermon, “It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming.”

May your faith and hope be renewed!

Grace and peace,

Lon & Dawn

The Rider

Lon —  April 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

Is it history, or legend, that retells the scene upon the ancient road strewn with palms from Bethany to Jerusalem? Who was that rider who inspired joyous shouts that day? Was he a man of regal bearing, whom one might admire though centuries distant? Was he kingly such as fitted the kingdoms of men? Was he the best hope of only one people, now lost to them? Or, was he, is he, something else? Something more?

If legend, then let memory fail; more is needed than merely honest, admirable kings. But if history, then look ahead, for this King’s business is not yet finished, and he will see it done.

Hosanna!

 

storage room

[Newly completed storage room. View larger.]

A few months ago on Photo Friday, I shared Interruptions, which represented the reason my weekly posting schedule had been interrupted. I’m happy to now share completions, which represents a job well, and satisfyingly, done. Dawn’s new storage room is now fully in use with room to spare.

Check out my Haiku Deck slide show (23 slides) for inspiration on how to go from concrete to complete. As always, thanks so much for visiting Average Us. We hope you find inspiration to hope in God who is great, even when life isn’t.

Hello friend,

Please forgive this departure from the hope-inspiring content you normally find on Average Us. I care about the Church, God’s Church, your church. But our churches have a problem, and I wonder what we can do about it…


Your church is irrelevant.

Though you may love it, with few exceptions, your community no longer needs your church to fill any significant cultural, social, educational or charitable role. Those days are long over.

Two churches side by side

If your church closed up today, who would care other than the members? What negative impact would befall your city? Think about that for a while and see if it reflects reality where you live and worship.

Continue Reading…

Ever wondered what your great, great, great grandfather could do with his hands? What could your great, great, great grandmother could do with hers?

Once upon a time, our forebears survived using skills passed down from generations past. No more. Wealth and convenience eliminated the need for skills that were once essential for life.

And what we no longer need, we no longer learn.

Can you change a tire?

How many of these once common skills do you still master?

Continue Reading…

Jesus may have been the worst salesman ever.

Statue of "buddy Christ"

And the good news he announced is definitely the worst sales pitch ever. It could be lampooned like this:

“Repent and surrender everything you have and everything you hope to be to me. Do this, and your life might be worse—maybe a lot worse. Eventually, I’ll give you something far better. But you can’t see it or have it until you die. Just trust me.”

This portrayal of the gospel doesn’t sound very appealing, but it is the way most ears hear the gospel: foolish, offensive, insulting, a turn off. Certainly, that’s how Jesus’ audience heard it.

Continue Reading…