Tag Archives: Easter

A Letter to Jesus Easter Morning

Good Morning Lord:

Happy Resurrection Sunday! I’m excited about the coming events of the day, Sunrise at the Park… in the rain… at 48 degrees. Ummm, I’m excited about the day, not so much the weather. But then I think of You. Are these raindrops or tears this morning? I’m excited about our services today just like I am most Sunday mornings. But if I’m honest, I can’t say every Sunday morning. This ol’ flesh lets me down more than I care to confess, but then again, You know anyway.

Omniscient Father

All knowing Father. There were times as my girls were growing up, that I’m pretty sure I was glad I wasn’t an all knowing mother. What must it be like to watch your children every day and know that the very people for which You went through the horrific crucifixion for are so ungrateful. Myself especially. Today, those of us who know You, are celebrating not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. The end of Satan’s tyranny. He no longer held the keys to death, Hell and the grave but Victory was won for sinners like me who had only to confess You are Lord! That’s it. Nothing more. Oh God… I love You so much, for not nearly enough.

Omnipresent Father

Everywhere I go You are there. David said in Psalm 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Glory to God, in the worst of days and the best of days You’ve never forsaken me. I’ve forsaken You every time I turned away from the path You chose, the Words You spoke and the opportunities You provided. But You went with me, even during my mistakes, You stayed. The world let me down, You did not ever.

How can I complain? The world has let You down too. Every single person in it and yet You stayed not only with them through the presence of the Holy Spirit, but You stayed on the cross when the world spit on You and beat You to the point of death, and You lived on until You were ready to die. You said “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  You stayed even though when those of us who accepted Your death as payment for our sin, and knew that that’s what it took to save us, and yet we still fail. I still fail You Jesus. I’m so very sorry.

Omnipotent Father

All Powerful God. Happy Resurrection Sunday! Today is the day that we celebrate not the failures of humanity but the power of God! The Power to say “It is finished” at the cross and the Savior reigns. Satan no longer has control over us. He has powers in this world to convince us to take our eyes off of You but He has no power to take our hearts. You hold the keys not only to death, Hell and the grave but the key to peace. Likely what I am most grateful for above all that You have given me in my life. Which is so very much. But the peace of eternal security, knowing that my soul rests in Your hands is overwhelming. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Lord, for my own church, and for those around the world. I pray that the gospel in truth is preached today. Not sugar coated like the bunnies and baskets. But the truth that without Your death, there would be no life for us worth living. From Genesis to Revelation that was the plan. You knew we’d fail. You knew we needed a Savior and You told the Father “I’ll go.” I’m so sorry You had to, but so glad You did.

Today we celebrate not only Your resurrection but the resurrection of every earthly body that has professed You as Lord in the coming rapture. My Dad’s soul is with You, and so many others that I love. I’m ready for that day. But ever so glad that You’ve given me more time to be a witness for You down here. Praying today that there will be no circle broken in my family and friends on that day. But today the circle is incomplete. Lord, help me show them the way.

I pray I Love You more today and every day. You alone are worthy.

Your friend and child

Shari

What Would Change?

Every Easter I run the risk of losing the whole purpose of the Holiday, which is to serve as a reminder of the price our salvation cost. It didn’t come cheap. It cost God His Son, and the Lord His life. Yet, I get so wrapped up in the labor of love for the church that I forget to take the time to celebrate the labor of Love from our Lord and Savior.

I had all but sluffed off blogging today as I had the past couple of days because I had too many other things vying for my time. Like laundry, chocolate chip cookies, vegetable soup and cornbread, you know… really important stuff. (insert rolled eyes here). Even as I write, there are reminders all around me of other things I’d planned on doing today. But what slowed me down was a video posted on Facebook this morning by Blake Shelton.

Now, for the record, I have a love, hate relationship with the show “The Voice” because of the immoral aptitude of the co-stars. Yes, I know it’s Hollywood, not the church, but I’m still entitled to my opinion. So imagine my surprise when I listen to a song that Blake wrote titled “The Savior’s Shadow.” (Link Below) According to the link, Blake dreamed the lyrics, awoke, and wrote them down and then composed the song during a time in his life when he was struggling. Struggles can bring amazing things out in us when we’re in a attitude to receive the Lord’s goodness.

If the “religious” crowd aren’t careful they’ll miss the lesson I received in Blake’s song.

When I read the title, my Jesus Chick feathers ruffled up and I was ready with a critical spirit to critique him like they critique the people auditioning for their show. But I smoothed my feathers out, and listened. With each word Blake sang, my heart melted. And not for Blake Shelton, but for the Lord’s work.

I was quickly reminded that I’m a sinner saved by grace, and the only reasons I have this platform and the opportunities to minister in song is because the Lord had pity on my soul and used me in spite of who I really am.

I had written a social media post a few weeks ago regarding another co-star of the Voice, Kelley Clarkson. I was so aggravated with her announcing her Christian faith one minute and then cussin’ like a sailor the next. I’m still flustered over it. To be given such a platform for Christ and then to damage the cause for which He gave His life in such a way, through the vulgarity that she knows to be wrong makes me sad. For Jesus and her. She totally trashed her witness.

And then there’s Blake. Who makes no profession of faith, openly drinks alcohol and boasts of his immorality, and then look what God did through him! Is Blake saved? Well, there’s “no proof in the pudding,” as they say, but it’s not for me to judge. He’s not much worse than his co-star and in truth, he’s not much worse than a great many professing Christians who see no need to be in church or relinquish their mouth and morality to the Holy Spirit. And if I look at the inward part of Shari… no worse than me. I may not openly sin, but I certainly have some parts of my life that aren’t pleasing to the Lord.

Matthew 7:3-4 says And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”

I heard a story the other day of an art critique who was invited to critique a selection of inspirational art. He stood before a painting of Mary and the Christ Child. Mary was holding the Baby in front of a countryside and mountainous scene, but to the critique’s eye, everything seemed off. The faces seemed distorted, as did the mountains and scenery behind them. It was almost as if everything was painted from a different viewpoint.

The art critique decided to change his position of view, and so he knelt before the painting in the busy gallery. There on his knees he discovered that the painting was meant to be viewed from the position of prayer.

Oh that we would critique the world around us from the position of prayer before getting into our “godly judgmental stances.”

If rather than tearing down the people we come across in the course of day, we got on our knees and viewed them from the position of prayer and through the eyes of God, what would change about them and what would change about us? What would change about me?

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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Even the Easter Bunny Knows

I have no qualms with the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus or any other fictitious character that has been created to give children happy childhood memories. It did not warp me, nor my children that we were told the Easter Bunny was watching in order to make us behave better, even if it were only for a few days. We gradually and gracefully grew into the wisdom that those characters weren’t real and there was no traumatization. My oldest grandbabies have figured it out too, but continue the charade for their younger siblings, even though any other time they’d love to squash their little dreams.  What baffles me is that the “logical” thinking world has yet to figure out what critters and new creatures in Christ have long since known.

Creation is by the Creator

Of all the things (and there are many) that point me to God as Creator, its critters. My chickens for example. I have plain ol’ ordinary chickens and then I have the “fluffies.” They’re actually called Silkies, and they’re the youngest of our brood. They recently just started laying eggs, and although there are no roosters in the vicinity it still doesn’t stop them from treating their eggs like there’s something other than breakfast inside. I have to fight her off to get the eggs. And she’s not happy about it.

I had been collecting several of their tiny eggs each day, but a few days went by and there were no eggs in the box. It had gotten a little colder and chickens tend to lay fewer eggs during those times, but I really would have thought that out of my four specialty chickens, somebody would have laid an egg. On the third day I went to move their water bin and discovered that everybody’s eggs from the previous three days were hidden behind it. I cracked up! That overprotective hen had pulled a good one on me.

How could that not be intelligent design? How on earth could an explosion create love?  I need to ask no other question for myself to believe in the Creator. Although there are the occasional critters who don’t have the instinct of parenting, (including humans) most understand their responsibility and the exact methods of taking care of their young. Birds know how to nest, and chickens know how to sit and all know how to protect.

Romans 1:20

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Regardless of whether or not someone professes that God is God, and Jesus is Lord, and the Holy Spirit dwells within the saved and convicts the lost, doesn’t change the fact that it’s truth. Creation attests to the Creator.

Long before I knew the truth as the truth, God was working in my heart and mind to understand Who He is and who I was. I recently wrote another song titled “Salvation’s Song” and one of the verses speaks of the how I knew I wasn’t saved, and how I knew when I was. Before I was saved… no peace. After I was saved…. PEACE. Only God can make an internal difference. We are created with sin coursing through us. That explains the world. But when God’s presence comes within through the Holy Spirit, Glory to God there is peace on earth. Not outside… but in.

Yes, even the Easter Bunny knows God. Do you?

There’s a link at the top of this page titled “the Road to Salvation.” If you don’t know or are unsure of your salvation, and that if you died today you don’t know if you’d be in Heaven or Hell. CLICK THE LINK. And let me know so I can pray for you.

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Comments and Contributions are always welcome

This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complain… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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How Crazy is it?

The closer I get to Easter, the more my mind reflects on the cross. And the more I reflect on what God did that day the more I have to say that it’s got to be a crazy love that would be willing to do what Jesus did that day. When I look at the world we live in I think to myself “Why on earth would you have saved this wicked and rebellious generation?” For which I am one. I know my heart and how I can turn on a dime toward something sinful and ignore the Holy Spirit within in me that gives me more than enough support not to fall into it. And yet I do. And yet He still loves me. That’s crazy! But what’s crazier than His love is those who fail to accept it.

The Love of Jesus is Without Condemnation

While sin is not ever acceptable it is no less inevitable. 1 John 1:8 says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. Jesus will not condemn the child of God for the sins they’ve committed. That crazy day on the cross He died to cover every sin ever committed by His children. Is not that a worthy payment? Of course it is. Does that mean we can sin and not understand there should have been a penalty and yet may still be repercussions? Of course not.

If a store is robbed there is an earthly expectation of the penalty that freedom should be lost. If I hurt a friend without regard for them or our friendship I may lose that friend. But when I sin, regardless of the depth of the sin the penalty is paid in the eyes of God, and the relationship is restored the very second I turn to Him. That’s crazy love, but it’s how He works.

Sin is without condemnation but it is not without conviction. The Holy Spirit reveals to the child of God when sin is in the house, we know better. We may still fail but He has given us the power within us not to. If we fall into sin it is our choice.

The Love of Jesus Cannot be without Declaration

Matthew 10:33

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Professing Christ is more than just saying that you know Him. Satan knows Him. The demons of Hell know Him, but they are not children of God. I knew Him in my head from the time I was a child until 1996. But not until I declared Him as Lord of my life and trusted in Him to save me did I know Him in my heart. It was then that I truly felt the Holy Spirit guiding me and putting that conviction upon me when I wasn’t going in the right direction. It was also when I began to declare my love for Him. Even when the world thought I was crazy.

My friend Doyle Ballengee said it best when he said “Go ahead and call me a fanatic, when you or someone you love gets a bad doctor’s report, you’ll be looking for a fanatic.”

That’s how I feel about my declaration of love for Jesus. Go ahead and say I’m crazy when all I want to do is talk about my Lord and all that He’s done in my life. Because when your life gets turned upside down but this old world, someone as crazy as me can help you set it up aright by showing you how Jesus did that for me.

I know it sounds crazy to the world when I say that Jesus died for me. Because the world wouldn’t give you the time of day if it cost them anything of any magnitude. But Jesus will give you more than you could ever imagine in return for your declaration, acknowledgement of Who He is. God.

The Love of Jesus is Not without Expectation

I can hear the naysayers now, “Oh, there it is. I knew you had to do something.” No, you can sit on your toosh and do absolutely nothing and still make it to Heaven. Jesus paid the price once and for all at the cross. All who accept, believe and declare Him as Lord, that He died on the cross, rose again the third day, and ascended to Heaven to make intercession for you will be saved. But if you want to be all you can be for Christ, and have the reward of His glory, on earth and in Heaven, there is an expectation.

I sat at a table with three friends this past Wednesday, each with their own story of coming to the knowledge of Christ in their lives; four very different people with one common bond…Christ.

  • One came to Christ because she grew tired of being with people, and yet alone.
  • One came to Christ because the religion she had grown up with let her down when she needed it most.
  • One came to Christ when He realized the law wouldn’t save anyone.
  • And this one, me, came to Christ when I realized there was no peace in this world without the Prince of Peace. And “religion” wasn’t the same as a “relationship.”

Each one of us now serve Christ and desire to serve Him greater because He did that crazy thing on the cross.

How crazy was it? He was beat until His body was unrecognizable and said to have looked like hamburger, He was spit upon, and ridiculed, at the height of His pain had a crown of thorns rammed on His head and was mocked as King of the Jews. His earthly mother sat at His feet with her friends and wept for the Son God had allowed her to give birth to. Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34 in part) That’s crazy because it’s true.

He did that for you. Have you experienced His love? Declare it and share it! He is worthy.

Not the God of Low Expectations

high expectationsThe day after a busy holiday is always two-sided. There is the side of me that’s like “Whew! Now I can rest!” and then the other side which is somewhat let down, because the excitement and anticipation of the event is over. But with Easter, that’s shouldn’t be the case. Yes, the 2016 Holiday is over, but not the excitement! Still today I woke up excited about my Salvation, what it means to me and what God is doing in my life. Every day I wake up to a resurrected Lord, not just Easter Sunday! “So what’s your plan today,” I ask myself? “What are you going to do with another day with Jesus? How are you going to impact the world for Christ?”

That’s a heavy question. But God is not One of low expectations. He didn’t go the cross for a group of slackers. He went to the cross for servants willing to go into the highways and the hedges.

Luke 14 tells the story of the planning of a great event. Much time and preparation had gone into it and yet it was taken for granted by the masses and many refused to attend because the world had pressing business for them real estate, farming, family (or whatever it is that’s on our schedule today before God.)

Vs. 17-24

And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

I thought of this scripture when I thought of the many friends of mine who invited folks to church for Easter Sunday, some came, and some did not. And for those who didn’t it’s disappointing, not only to us, but above all to God Who had planned so great an event! But in truth, that wasn’t the great event, that was a precursor to the great event and we’re still in the planning stages!  There’s still time to get our friends to the party!

God’s not looking for the perfectly dressed, the happy, healthy and rich. He’s looking for the hurting, poor, tired and sick who need to find Hope and we have the invitation in our hand! Today is a highway and hedges day and we’re not guaranteed another. So they didn’t listen yesterday. Compel them today! Now I’m excited about Monday.

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Thank God For Friday!

Goodness of God

I found it ironic that Google celebrates every goofy and non-goofy day of the year with a new Google logo or doodle but Good Friday didn’t even get an honorable mention. Ironic yes, surprised, no. The world celebrates Friday because it’s the start of the weekend more than they do the start of eternal life through the sacrifice Christ willingly made on the cross that dark day.  Many Churches are taking the blood out of the story because it’s too offensive to people and yet the movie industry is bombarded with gore and people take or allow their children to view the video with little regard for the way it effects their child’s mind. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Cartoon Network has cartoons that aren’t fit for adults to watch.

But this blog isn’t about bashing the world… As the Lord said, “they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Today’s post is about a grateful heart who “didn’t know” for 34 years how much I had to be thankful for. That was the age I came to the knowledge of the Salvation of Jesus Christ. I understood (as best my mind can) the sacrifice of the cross. That God was willing to spend that Friday suffering unimaginable pain, ridicule and desecration of his body that He lived in on earth, only to serve and teach others how to serve.

But then came Sunday!!! And as dreadful as Friday was for Him and for His followers looking on, Sunday came and the darkness was made light by the empty tomb and a risen Savior that had won victory over death, Hell and the grave. The blood is gory, yes, but its crimson color that stained His cross serves as a reminder that because of Him, I have life and have it more abundantly. I cannot fail to thank Him for Friday, for He gave me Sunday.

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What Makes Good Friday Good?

CHICK GOOD  FRIDAY

The year was 1996, and it was my very first Easter as a baby Christian. Everything was new to me, even though I had likely heard it for 34 years. But the tradition of the nails in the cross during Good Friday communion was definitely a new experience. As I recall there were 100 or so folks attending the service and invited to take communion as a family or group of friends. But prior to their taking of the bread and drinking of the cup  each family member  would take a long heavy duty nail and pound it in to the old rugged cross on the platform of the church. Again and again the hammer hitting the nail echoed as soft music played in the background.

Clang…. Clang… Clang….

Each family or group that went forward was a testimony of what the Lord had done in their life. Sobs could be heard throughout the building as the heaviness of situation laid on hearts. Christ wasn’t on the cross, but every nail was a reminder that we each were accountable for the crucifixion of our Lord. He did that for me; it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross, and it was His love that brought Him down and His resurrection that allows me to live with the hope of victory over death and the grave.

Good Friday. Not a good day for Jesus that year, but a great day for Shari Johnson. The sacrifice of sin was too high for me to pay. What piddlely little sacrifices I make are nothing in the scope of eternity. Thousands of lambs were slaughtered in Old Testament days but were only a symbol of the worthy blood that would spill on the cross of Calvary.

The Price of Victory

Victory over death…

Corinthians 15:55

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Victory over circumstances…

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Victory over the attacks of the world…

1 John 5:4

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

There is nothing that was not covered on the cross that day. Yes, it was our sin that caused the crucifixion, but it was His blood that fixed the sinner. If we are born of God, born again as Christ described to Nicodemus in

John 3 [Full Chapter]

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. …

Then we are to live in Victory! It’s us who live in defeat… and that’s not a worthy attitude for what Christ did. I pray today finds you with an attitude of Awesomeness! Because Christ believes you are. And that friend makes Good Friday Good!

It began and ended in the Garden

chick garden

It was formed at creation; a place of splendor and beauty that we cannot possibly fathom. As beautiful as creation is now it still has thorns, mud and dying foliage, but that was not the case in the first garden. It had not rained so there would not have been mud, only perfect conditions for which to run and frolic in delight in that perfectly wonderful place… until we botched it through sin.  My stomach twists and turns as I think about Satan slithering his way through God’s exquisite creation to make his way to Eve, where his pleas would not fall on deaf ears but rather his wicked seeds of doubt would take root in her soul and forever change the garden.

Genesis 2:8, Genesis 2:9

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Eve traded Paradise for misguided perception.

The scripture says that Jesus and His disciples often resorted to a garden with His disciples. There is no doubt that He knew the garden of Creation and Gathsemane at the time it was created, long before sin had taken its effect on the land and before Satan’s ways had slithered into the heart of every man.

John 18:1-2

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Another betrayal in the garden. In a place where Jesus had sought to find rest with His friends, and was perhaps a place where He had expounded the truth to His disciples many times, including Judas; it would be that place Judas would seal the deal with the Devil. Another poor choice by the creation that God loved. It was in this garden that Christ cried out to His Father to let the cup pass if there would be any other way, but there was not. The coming days would be filled with betrayal to the extreme when the world would turn their back on Him, He Who created them… loved them… and died for them.

But then the final garden in the story.

John 19:40-42

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

As only Christ can do, it would come full circle in the garden! What Satan had intended to steal in the first garden, he was sure he had finally accomplished it in the third. But in the third garden, on the third day Jesus would prove victorious and in a twist of irony He was mistaken as the gardener by the women at the tomb.

John 20:15

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

The original Gardener. He Who had sown every seed in that glorious Garden of Eden, Who was there betrayed, had conquered every sin from the original to the end. Glory Hallelujah! Our Messiah. I’m so grateful for the Master Gardener… were it not for that empty tomb I would not stand redeemed and have peace in my soul that it so needful in this world of woe.

It was nice to find the gardens this morning in His word. I pray you find a little of your own to steal away and spend time with the Savior, be it in the garden, a coffee shop or a front porch swing.

Something Happened at the Church House!

chick church house

It is just a little past Palm Sunday, Monday as a matter of fact, but my mind is still on Sunday. Yesterday evening our choir performed the Cantata, “Jesus Saves.” I wept through much of it, tried to sing because I thought surely my big mouth would be missed, maybe not… but I was so caught up in the moment. My littlest gradbaby played Jesus with Mary and Joseph. Mary, who had forever wanted to play that role, but was never chosen as a child, yet as a young woman, God fulfilled her desire. I inwardly snickered at Joseph who was worried about OSHA regulations in the carpenter shop and refused to wear sandals but insisted on wearing his work boots. And then Jesus… played by a man our church had come to love as interim Pastor and continues to play an encouraging role even now. He came down the aisle to shouts of praises and Hosanna and in a twist of irony, his real lie daughter who played Mary had just left the stage. He was portraying Jesus, but more importantly he knew Jesus. There was a sense of worship on the platform, he broke the bread and shared the cup, pondered that day in Jesus’ life. He knelt and wept… and my heart was broken. How did that crowd go from shouts of praise to shouts of crucify Him?

Matthew 21:15-16

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

The children were crying in the temple. They were praising God and having a shoutin’ good time. Kids can do that because they have no concern for appearances, they live in the absolute moment. I have a feeling it was young and old alike who were living in that moment as Jesus made His way down the streets of Jerusalem to the shouts of “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” John 12:13

But something happened at the church house.

Jesus had made it to the church house; and what did He find? Greedy religious people making money and unconcerned about anyone but self.  He threw them out of the temple and justifiably so. But inside the temple there were still a few of them left. The children were in the temple praising God and celebrating the King and it upset the stiff necked religious leaders. So Jesus reminded them of the Old Testament words in Psalm 8:2 –  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

One sure fire way to tick off religious people is to catch them up in their own game. They were so wrapped up in the law and spouting off scripture that they stopped feeling it. They were now the enemy of the cross and were about to be stilled. Christ’s presence had Spiritually moved the crowd. They knew He was different but when it came to the church, they knew He changed things and religious people hate change. So they decided they’d get rid of the problem and changed the cry from Hosanna! To Crucify! By silencing the child, the one who has no concern for appearance, only truth; but not for long. The church was silenced for a few days…

But then something happened at the church house!

It changed no locations. It was no longer in a building but it dwelled within the people and it could not be silenced.

The tears that flowed down my face during last night’s Cantata was that inward child; the one in the temple crying “Hosanna, Blessed is the King Who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Don’t lose sight of that inner child this week…

The First Easter Bucket

John 4:9-14

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

I know we’re a few days past the Easter holiday, but truthfully, if we celebrate Christ in our lives every day we’re celebrating Easter; and this thought came into my mind and my heart yesterday and I needed to share it, as I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since that time. The story of the woman at the well paints such a marvelous picture of salvation for the child of God. An interesting note about this story is that it’s the longest recorded conversation that Jesus has with any one person. And it happens to be with someone He, twice over, should not be talking to according to Jewish law. One a Samaritan, and two a woman. And yet, the Lord doesn’t stand on the formality of religion but rather He goes for the relationship. I love that about Jesus!

So here He stands (or sits, because He was weary) talking to this woman who came to the well in the hottest portion of the day, most likely to avoid people judging her, and she meets the only One worthy to judge. There’s probably a thousand points in this story, but today I’ll mention three.

  1. The Holey Bucket

The Samaritan woman came to the well prepared to get her own water and head back to the house before any of those judgmental people of her city came around. She’d had four failed relationships and was working on the fifth. She’d been let down so many times before, she knew better than to rely on anyone else to take care of her, she could take care of herself. Or so it is that I think of her. And independent woman. Her attitude with Jesus seemed to be almost sarcastic when she says “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with….” In other words, Mister, You came here without a bucket! How do you plan on getting water?

  1. The Holy Bucket

This is what I love about the Lord, and reading His word. In the Bible according to Shari, the one that plays out in my head when I hear or read the Word of God; the one that sometimes adlibs, I hear Jesus saying… Woman, I am the bucket! I have everything you need to sustain life. You can drink of what this world has to offer for the rest of your days but at the end you’ll die of thirst because you can’t live without me.

  1. The unholy Bucket

And then she realizes there’s something different about this man. He knows her, inside and out. He tells her everything that’s been going on in her life, and yet she doesn’t feel condemned. All the sinful, shameful things she’s been doing, she knows He knows. And she also knows that what He speaks is truth. Nothing in the world has ever satisfied her. She tried everything, and every time it fails. She’s tired of coming to that well ashamed, she want to be clean. She’s tired of carrying that unholy bucket around in her life that has her labeled an unfit woman. So she cast care to the wind and says “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

I don’t want to come here again.

Woohoo! And Hallelujah, does that story ever put a shout in my soul! If the woman had a name tag, and she doesn’t, it would likely bear our name. She every one of us who comes to Jesus with our unholy bucket trying to cleanse ourselves, and it never works.

But Jesus isn’t at the well any longer, He is the well. Because of the cross of Calvary we now have that Easter Bucket of endless living water that will allow us to live eternally with our Lord, but for now will allow us to live effectually for our Lord. For now we have purpose.

There is so much in this story I can’t possibly do it justice in a blog, but after she finished her business with the Lord at the well, she went back to the city. This time she wasn’t avoiding people she was looking for people unashamedly to tell them what the Lord had done in her life!

So… have you been to the well? If you not… go quickly! If so… tell somebody!!!