On Good Friday, we looked at the difference that the Cross makes and particularly focused on how The Cross deals with guilt and shame. I want to come back to that question here. In the earlier article, I said that part of the good news about the Cross is that Jesus deals with these two problems by taking my guilt on himself and by covering my shame. Continue reading
Do you remember the first story you wrote as a child? At the start, we learn that stories should have a good beginning, middle and an end. Normally kids stories start “once upon a time” finish with “and they all lived happily ever after.” We learn to love fairy tales and Disney. Then we realise that life doesn’t tend t run like that. People don’t live happily ever after. So the bleakness of life is confirmed by daily diet of East Enders and Jeremy Kyle. Or we continue to escape into fairy tale land, longing for our happily ever after.
Then we come to the Resurrection accounts and we might be left thinking “It’s just another fairy story. Dead bodies don’t come back to life.” So, if that’s you I want to give you an invitation this Easter to take another look at the story.
I doubt I’ll ever forget the moment I got that phone call. “Your great aunt has been mugged and knocked out. She’s in intensive care.” I was living the nearest to the hospital so I got my boss’s permission and headed off knowing others would be getting there as quickly as they could. It was a strange day and night. We were allowed to sit with her. She was unresponsive. We tried to keep a conversation going and to talk to her hoping that she might be hearing something. We reminisced about the past. We talked about what we were doing. But mainly we just waited as the hospital monitors showed us that her life was slipping away. Continue reading
Read John 19:38 – 4
The disciples now find themselves living “in between” Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We live “in between Easter and Christ’s second coming. What does it mean for you to live “in between.” Continue reading
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re in a very public place, all your friends, family, neighbours are there. Then you realise something is wrong. You are naked. Now I’m no psychologist but I guess that those types of dreams express one of our greatest fears. We fear being exposed, embarressed and publically shamed. Continue reading
Read John 19
- Who are the different people in the story and how do they respond to Jesus?
- What do the words shame and guilt mean?
- Do the words “shame” and guilt” resonate with your experience? What causes you to feel shame?
Ellie Goulding sings the beautiful song “How long will I love you.” For me it captures the wonderful sense of a faithful loving relationship. I have to add the note of caution there that this is my understanding because so often you think a pop song is about something nice and lovely and it turns out to be about betrayal and infidelity. So let’s hope that’s not the case on this occasion. These words are beautiful and powerful: Continue reading