holidays

Passover Pieces

I know very little about Jewish culture, religion or history.  I do, however, have many Jewish friends.  I understand that Passover, is as important as the Holy Week events Christians celebrate.  I wanted to share with you what I’ve found, in hopes that you; like me, are a spiritual seeker!

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Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach) commemorates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The holiday originated in the Torah, where the word pesach refers to the ancient Passover sacrifice (known as the Paschal Lamb); it is also said to refer to the idea that God “passed over” (pasach) the houses of the Jews during the 10th plague on the Egyptians, the slaying of the first born. The holiday is ultimately a celebration of freedom, and the story of the exodus from Egypt is a powerful metaphor that is appreciated not only by Jews, but by people of other faiths as well.

For the complete explanation along with foods, celebrations and rituals, check out this link!
holidays

Palm Sunday Pieces

You can probably visualize it from your childhood religious teachings.  Jesus on a donkey, people waving palm fronds.  Do you know the whole story?

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Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, knowing full well that this trip would end in his sacrificial death for the sin of humanity.

He sent two disciples ahead to the village of Bethphage, about a mile away from the city at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He told them to look for a donkey tied by a house, with its unbroken colt next to it. Jesus instructed the disciples to tell the owners of the animal that “The Lord has need of it.” (Luke 19:31, ESV)

The men found the donkey, brought it and its colt to Jesus, and placed their cloaks on the colt. Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In his path, people threw their cloaks on the ground and put palm branches on the road before him. Others waved palm branches in the air.

Large Passover crowds surrounded Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV)

By that time the commotion was spreading through the entire city. Many of the Galilean disciples had earlier seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Undoubtedly they were spreading the news of that astonishing miracle.

The Pharisees, who were jealous of Jesus and afraid of the Romans, said: “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.'” (Luke 19:39-40, ESV)

Credit: https://www.thoughtco.com/palm-sunday-story-700203

holidays

Psalms Pieces

There are so many beautiful Psalms in the Bible.  Do you have a favorite?  Do you know the significance of this book?  One man struggles in his faith, wanting to surrender and know God on a deeper level.  He sings praises to God with a longing heart.  It is not always an easy book of the Bible to understand, there is as – I used to complain about when younger:  “a lot of thee’s and tho’s.”  🙂

As we continue into the Holy days; Good Friday and Passover, Palm Sunday and Easter, let us yearn for God the same way David did.

(I am referring to the Living Bible, as I appreciate the stillness of the language.)

Psalm 19 The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. 3-4 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.

7-8 God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. God’s laws are pure, eternal, just. 10 They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. 11 For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.

12 But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.

14 May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

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Psalm 138 Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels.  I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.  When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

Every king in all the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for all of them shall hear your voice. Yes, they shall sing about Jehovah’s glorious ways, for his glory is very great. Yet though he is so great, he respects the humble, but proud men must keep their distance. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever. Don’t abandon me—for you made me.

 

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Holy Month

April is just around the corner and our holy month begins; Palm Sunday, Passover, Good Friday and Easter.  The death, burial and resurrection — the miracle that saved our life.

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Do you believe?  That is all that is asked of us, to believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins.

People don’t like to see the image of Jesus nailed to the cross, or the crown of thorns on his head; but this is the reality.  Jesus was nailed to a cross, hands and feet, his sides were pierced and a crown of sharp thorns was not “placed” on his head, it was jammed into it.  Imagine the physical pain and anguish.  He made this awful sacrifice for us; to heal our wounds, forgive our sins and give us a life that is free and an end that is eternal. 

Image result for nails and a crossHe was despised, and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering; as one from whom men hide their face, and we despised him and we did not value him. Surely he has borne our sufferings, and carried our pains; yet we considered him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.  ~Isaiah 53:3-5 (NHEB)