Category Archives: Holy Week

Tuesday with John Wesley

Holy-Week.jpgDividerTuesday from John Wesley.jpg

On this Tuesday of Holy Week, I call your attention John Wesley. He was a great preacher and founder of the Methodist movement. John Wesley had but one goal, and it was to bring the message of the grace of God to all people. He was an Oxford Don and an Anglican priest who gave his long and productive life to that cause. I will share some quotes from Mr. Wesley that communicate his calling.



Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,Wesley Preaching.jpg

In all the ways you can,

In all the places you can,

At all the times you can,

To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

 

Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.

Give me one hundred preachers (Christians)who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.

Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.

I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.

When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.

Our main doctrines, which include all the rest, are three: That of repentance, of faith, and of holiness. The first of these we account, as it were, the porch of religion; the next, the door; the third, religion itself.

Appletons__Wesley_John_signature.jpg



A PRAYER FROM JOHN WESLEY

O merciful Father, do not consider what we have done against you;

but what our blessed Savior has done for us.

Don’t consider what we have made of ourselves,

but what He is making of us for you our God.

O that Christ may be “wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption”

to every one of our souls.

May His precious blood cleanse us from all our sins,

and your Holy Spirit renew and sanctify our souls.

May He crucify our flesh with its passion and lusts,

and cleanse all our brothers and sisters in Christ across the earth.

Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holy Week

Monday from the Desert

Holy-Week.jpgDividerMonday from the Desert.jpg

On this Monday of Holy Week, I call your attention to those Monks who chose to escape the temptation and hardships that beset them when they lived in the cities. Their escape to the desert was the way that they chose to pursue the calling as Christians. I have chosen a few quotes that will set the stage for their way of life. Read and pray on these and God will lead you in the right direction.


Anthony of Egypt.jpg

Someone asked Abba Anthony, “What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, “Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes, whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.”

~~~Anthony of Egypt



Poeman.jpeg

A brother questioned Abba Poemen saying, ‘I have committed a great sin and I want to do penance for three years.’ The old man said to him, ‘That is a lot.’ The brother said, ‘For one year?’ The old man said again, ‘That is a lot.’ Those who were present said, ‘For forty days?’ He said again, ‘That is a lot.’ He added, ‘I myself say that if a man repents with his whole heart and does not intend to commit the sin any more, God will accept him after only three days.’

~~~Abba Poemen



For quite some time I have been learning great lessons from the men and women of the desert monastic movement. Their commitment to living a Christ honoring life was given number one priority in their lives. Many of them abandoned influence, wealth, and families to live for Christ. They were the mentors of numerous leaders of early Christianity. Their attitudes and actions drew people to them for inspiration. I have shared some quotes from their teaching today. I will expand on those in the words that follow.

In our first saying we see the age-old question, “What must I do to please God?” That is the most important request that anyone can make. Anthony’s reply is simple. He is saying that it all has to do with focus. He says to begin with your personal life. The Christian must always have God before him. Too many believers make it habit to compartmentalize their lives. When we have a box for God, a box for work and separate boxes for each part of life, we lose sight of what should be our primary focus.  Christians should always have God in front of their eyes and all else will come into focus. Anthony then turns his attention to the scripture and tells us that we should look for its testimony. The Holy Scriptures are given to us by God as a guide for life and work. We should consult with them and live in them for everything we do. Anthony’s next stop is where we live. If we establish stability of place, we will not spend our lives searching for the next adventure or excitement of life. Focus on God, Holy Scriptures and stability of place, and God will bring you great peace and salvation.

Article quote.jpg

Abba Poeman warns us against excessive guilt and self-loathing. Many people suffer through much in life because they never forgive themselves for some grievance that they have committed. Somehow, they always feel a sense of guilt and never really accept the grace of God. Such an attitude leads to self-loathing and ultimately to destructive behavior. The monk communicates to the brother that God will accept the repentant heart without excessive penance. The message is that we do not earn God’s forgiveness, it is given to the penitent heart. When Christians accept and live out that truth, they are free.

During Holy Week we journey towards the cross. It is a cross of suffering and salvation. Abba Anthony gives us some ways that we can focus our lives. Abba Poeman offers us a way that we can accept forgiveness and move on with life. These two concepts will perhaps give you a vision of how to apply Christ’s suffering and salvation to your life. 

Poeman and tired brother.jpg

PRAYER

Lord, As I experience Holy Week lead me to prepare my heart to receive the sacrifice of Jesus with a penitent heart. Let me keep my focus toward Him and His grace.

Amen

Leave a comment

Filed under Holy Week

Eight Days

Eight days changed the world. These eight days have been the topic of a million of publications, countless debates, and thousands of films. These eight days have inspired the greatest painters, the most skilled architects, and the most gifted musicians. To try and calculate the cultural impact of these eight days is impossible. But harder still would be an attempt to account for the lives of men and women who have been transformed by them. And yet these eight days as they played out in Jerusalem were of little significance to anyone but a few people involved. We call these eight days Holy Week, and it begin this Sunday. What happened on those eight days?


1. On Sunday the first of the eight days, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the shouts of Hosanna, fulfilling an old prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.

2. On Monday he walked into the Jerusalem Temple overturning tables where money exchange occurred, Roman drachmas were being exchanged for Jewish shekels. Roman coins were not allowed. The image of Caesar was a violation of the second commandment. But the Temple authorities were using the Commandment as means to cheat the people and making the Temple a place of profit rather than a place of prayer.

3. On Tuesday Jesus taught in parables, warned the people against the Pharisees, and predicted the destruction of the Temple.

4. On Wednesday, the fourth day, we know nothing. The Gospel writers are silent. Perhaps it was a day of rest for him and his weary and worried disciples.

5. On Thursday, in an upper room, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples. But he gave it a new meaning. No longer would his followers remember the Exodus from Egypt in the breaking of bread. They would remember his broken body and shed blood. Later that evening in the Garden of Gethsemane he agonized in prayer at what lay ahead for him.

6. On Friday, the fifth day, following betrayal, arrest, imprisonment, desertion, false trials, denial, condemnation, beatings and sentencing, Jesus carried his own cross to “The Place of the Skull,” where he was crucified with two other prisoners.

7. On Saturday, Jesus lay dead in a tomb bought by a rich man named Joseph.

8. On Sunday, his Passion was over, the stone had been rolled away. Jesus was alive. He appeared to Mary, to Peter, to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and to the 11 disciples gathered in a locked room. His resurrection was established as a fact.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a comment

Filed under Good Friday, Holy Week