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An Easter Reminder

Who would have known that I’d be entering such a busy time of life! I suppose that’s just God’s grace–writing about rest beforehand has at least kept it in my consciousness, if not at the forefront. So! I fully intend to get back to my series on rest, however, as it is Easter this week, I thought I’d share some of my meditation leading up to it.

We celebrated Passover earlier this week. I love celebrating the Jewish holy days! They really are a catechism. It was so neat to remember the history of Israel, of God bringing them in to Egypt and then leading them out. Of His provision with the Passover Lamb and the foreshadowing of Jesus as our Passover Lamb. We also just happened to finish reading the Harry Potter series with our kids the day before Passover.

I know some folks really dislike Harry Potter and the magic in it. I have to say though that finishing book 7 right before Easter was so good!

*spoiler alert*
If you haven’t read the series, book 7 is a meditation on the end of Jesus’ life, on the kind of bravery that it took to walk into death knowing full well death was coming… of the bravery it takes to not act. I love how J.K. Rowling talks about love and sacrifice. Harry’s mother’s sacrifice provides a protection that sinks into his very blood and makes his very skin unbearable agony to Voldemort. At the end of the series, Harry’s own self-sacrifice protects all those he loves. And we see this with Jesus’ death. Once we have been brought into His family, we are protected. Things get difficult and painful in the midst of this broken world, but Satan is unable to effect lasting damage on us. We are safe, no matter what appears to be happening around us, not because of some quality in ourselves or because of some quality in our circumstances, but because of Jesus’ sacrifice. We are safe, both from God’s wrath against sin and from Satan’s schemes. It’s incredible! I love that we then take that safety with us every moment of our lives. Even if Voldemort were perhaps to stick a flaming hat on our heads, we would still be safe.

Reading through the Deathly Hallows reminded me of how much I have to celebrate. It’s always easy for me to get lost in the stress of holidays and forget to remember the reason behind them. I pray God  brings special reminders into your own life to refocus you, just as He worked out the end of Harry Potter for me, so that we can really celebrate in the midst of the hubbub that surrounds Easter.

Have a blessed Easter season!

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The God who gives generously to all

James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (NIV)

I’ve been meditating on this passage off an on for the past few weeks. I realized I don’t ask God for wisdom nearly enough, especially for the small things–like how to get stains out of my daughter’s favorite dress 🙂

However, as Easter approaches, I’ve been thinking about what this passage shows us about God’s character and how that’s displayed in the Gospel. The God who gives generously to all…that’s who we serve. Not a stingy God. But a generous one. And we see just how generous in the Gospel. God died for us. He gave His Son for us. Not once we’d cleaned up our act, but while we were still sinners and enemies of God. I used to be an enemy of God. Some folks blissfully ignore Him (and pretend they aren’t enemies), but I fought Him. I hated Him. I wanted nothing to do with Him. And yet, He gave generously to me.

He gives generously to all. Whoever believes in His Name can be saved. There’s never a category of person who He won’t give to. You can be poor, rich, any ethnicity, any background. The only thing you can’t be is someone who won’t believe. That’s the kind of person who shouldn’t expect to get anything from God. Faith, the prerequisite of the Gospel. Abraham believed God even though he didn’t have a background in following God or hearing about God. He was called out of a pagan nation. And yet, he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

I love the consistency of Scripture. God is the same God from Genesis 1:1 to the end of Revelation. We see the Gospel writ large across the entire Bible. And here in James we see that He’s still the same–the God who gives generously to all who believe.