Experienced? [repost]

This Easter Season we will be sharing our annual Good Friday “service”, Experience the Passion. If you’ve never been before, I hope you’ll plan to do so. If you have been before, I hope you will visit again (and bring a friend).

Hosted in the chapel, Experience the Passion is a self-guided tour of several exhibits that depicts scenes from the last hours of Jesus’ life on earth. A program is provided which describes each station and lists scripture and questions to ponder. There are many different ways to interact with the displays and you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like.

I am always humbled as I watch people travel through the chapel. Emotions are always a bit mixed: excitement due to expectation, wonder at the sights and sounds, a little disorientation in the darkness, then departing with a sense of sorrow, gratitude, and (I hope) excitement due to expectation because He is risen, and He’s coming again!

What a joy it is to see multiple generations visit as a group; the older explaining to the younger, drawing them close and encouraging them to be involved in the experience too. The younger ask, the older answer. But sometimes the questions are more profound, and really cause you to think.

It is powerful, too, to see people realize that even though they may have come with a group, they have to face the cross individually. And really, we all do. We all have to answer the question, “What will I do with Jesus?”

God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9–11 NLT

Have you experienced new life in Christ? Share your experience. Encourage others to trust in Jesus who came so that we could experience a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10).

Are You Amazed?

I’m amazed as I read through Isaiah 53 (and as I’ve been rehearsing Handel’s Messiah) at the prophecy of Christ’s suffering. Everything’s there: rejection; unjust condemnation; punishment by piercing, crushing, beating, whipping; and silence. The silence is what really gets me. From the time Jesus is arrested in the garden to the final “it is finished!”, He is a man of few (but powerful) words. During all the trials, mocking, and plain noise “He did not open His mouth.” It just speaks to me of his obedience to do His Father’s will. Continue reading

What Can I Say?

Have you ever been at a loss for words? Ever felt like you’ve said too much? This past Good Friday and Easter, as we’ve examined the love of God through the sacrifice of Christ (for us no less), what crossed your mind? Maybe you felt immense gratitude; maybe immense guilt. Either way, you probably recognized the grandeur of God’s holiness. It’s humbling to sit at the foot of the cross and realize that the Creator of everything cares for even you.

A favorite song of mine, that sums it up very well is “Thank You For Saving Me” by Martin Smith of the UK band Delirious:

Thank you for saving me, what can I say?
You are my everything, I will sing Your praise.
You shed Your blood for me, what can I say?
You took my sin and shame, a sinner called by name.

Great is the Lord, great is the Lord.
For we know Your truth has set us free.
You’ve set Your hope in me.

Mercy and grace are mine, forgiven is my sin.
Jesus my only hope, the Savior of the world.
“Great is the Lord,” we cry, God let Your kingdom come.
Your Word has let me see, thank you for saving me.

It’s true! Our God is great! And we’ve been given the great privilege and honor to proclaim His greatness. As we live our lives for this great and awesome God and read his Word, we’ll see more and more how dependent we are on the Lord and His grace and forgiveness.

And we’ll only be able to say: “Thank you for saving me, I love you.”