“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-25)
We look forward to the resurrection—not just the coming celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, but our own resurrection, guaranteed because of Jesus. Until then, we still struggle with our own sin and the pain of living in a sinful world. We still suffer as a result of disease, disaster, deception, demons, and death. Yet we live with hope, looking forward to Christ’s return and the completion of our salvation: new bodies, a new heaven and earth, and a new relationship with God and with each other, free of sin, selfishness, suffering, and the sting of death. Christ is risen—as we shall be!
“Heavenly Father, thank You for the coming celebration of our reconciliation and resurrection, made possible because of Your love poured out through Jesus. Empower us with hope to share with all whom we meet this week, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
A man was known by friends to be particularly terse and to the point.
He was not unfriendly, but certainly never wasted words.
One day, a new saleswoman selling cosmetics knocked on his door.
When she asked to see his wife, the man told her that she wasn't home.
"Well," the woman said, "could I please wait for her?"
The man silently led her to the living room and went back to work outside.
For an hour the woman busied herself, but finally she could wait no longer.
She found the man in his shop back behind the house.
She asked, "May I know where your wife is?"
"She went to the cemetery," he replied.
"And when is she coming home?"
"I don't know," he said. "She's been there eleven years now."
The Lord bless your celebration and anticipation of the resurrection, in Jesus!
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope." (Isaiah 42:1-4)
How appropriate that St. Patrick’s Day occurs during the season of Lent, when we remember that Jesus came as a gentle servant to win us back through his own sacrifice. Though kidnapped as a teen from his home in England and enslaved in Ireland, when Patrick escaped he harbored no hatred of the Irish but answered God’s call to return to Ireland as a missionary. He was successful in converting many of the Irish to Christianity, not simply because he understood the language and culture, but because he imitated the persevering and sacrificial love of Jesus. Thus, Patrick became part of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s great prediction regarding Christ: “In His law the islands will put their hope.”
“Heavenly Father, thank You for those who responded to the grace given them in Jesus by showing that grace and love to us. Empower us to be as bright a reflection of Your love, that we might bring a new generation into Your kingdom, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
THE PLUCK OF THE IRISH…
A London lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by an Irish cop.
He thinks that he is smarter than the cop because he is a lawyer from LONDON.
He is also certain that he has a better education then any Irish cop.
He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the cop's expense.
Irish cop says, "License and registration, please."
London Lawyer says, "What for?"
Irish cop says, "Ye didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign."
London Lawyer says, "I slowed down, and no one was coming."
Irish cop says, "Ye still didn’t come to a complete stop. License and registration, please."
London Lawyer says, "What's the difference?"
Irish cop says, "The difference is, ye have come to a complete stop, that's the law.
License and registration, please!"
London Lawyer says, "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop,
I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket.
If not, you let me go and don't give me the ticket."
Irish cop says, "Sounds fair. Exit your vehicle, sir."
The London Lawyer exits his vehicle.
The Irish cop takes out his baton and starts beating the lawyer!
He then says, "Do ye want me to stop or just slow down?"
The Lord give you wisdom this week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.