it is finished.

so i have been thinking a lot about Jesus' two last sayings on the cross.

"it is finished" was his proclamation that he completed God's purpose for him at that time. he was on the cross. we often feel like we are doing what God wants us to do, and we end up in really bleak conditions. there was Jesus, nailed to a cross after having been beat and mocked for days. the sun wouldn't even shine. this is how my work is completed? this is the end result? it can seem so dark when we've done all that we can and the result of our work is the opposite of what we thought we were trying to do.

then he says the part we forget about: "now into your hands i commit my spirit"... i'm trusting you that this dark day and this painful death is not the end of God's plan! imagine those who loved Jesus, imagine his mother thinking "this is the work you were supposed to do, and it ends like this?" but we forget that even though God works through us, he doesn't not leave it up to us to complete; we can't! we can't complete it on our own. we have to have faith, even when the results of our labor seem fruitless, that God did raise Jesus from the ultimate dead end.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:6-8

This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. - Acts 2:23-24


passion week.

this is a somber week for me. last year, i went to israel with a group of students from ouachita on a biblical studies/life of christ tour. (see pictures!) it was really eye opening; i came face to face with the person Jesus.. who sweat, walked until his feet hurt, laid stone upon stone for roads and buildings in sepphoris, who wept--really wept--at the state of the people for whom he came to lay down his life. it was mind boggling, and there are times during the christian calendar that hit me hard than others.

easter is apparently going to be one of those.

the thing that is so crazy is that we are just as bad as the israelites. we praised him with them on palm sunday, but when it starts looking bleak we back away. we want him to do things our way. one of the images often used at this time is of him riding in on a mule. a lot of people are mistaken: this is not an act of humility. when kings rode mules into cities, it was because they were coming in peace. the israelite claimed they wanted peace (in the form of the ending of the roman occupation), but they wanted it on their own terms. Jesus came to brig peace, but not peace by way of violence... that was what israel wanted to see. a political messiah.

we want that too.. we think that Jesus is pro-life, pro- or anti-war, pro-whatever-we-support. he is not. he came to save us. yes, he cares about the things we care about as well, but his purpose is not making america christian-ruled. his purpose is saving us from sin--saving us from ourselves.

"Jesus is alright!", i hear, but often we mean something more like "Jesus is alright as long as he's doing what i wanted him to do". we forget that he is awesome and his soveriegnty has nothing to do with our prosperity or our success. the christians of the world are jobless, sick, hungry, and dying. but Jesus is no less powerful... and our sickness and poverty has nothing to do with how much he loves us.

he died.


angry mornings.

i really hate traffic.

i don't mind coming to work, but traffic makes me hate leaving the house in the morning. actually, it might not even be the volume of the traffic itself... it's the way people act in traffic that is so discouraging. i just can't understand. why is where you're going and your time so much more important than my destination and time? so much more important, in fact, that you are willing to slow me and everyone else down to get into a lane illegally, or worse, jeopardize my safety or my life?

well, i cried all the way to work this morning. i actually PRAY my way through the morning commute because i get so angry. and i refuse to yell or give people the finger, so i have a lot of pent up anger. i feel like i try to be so courteous, and NO ONE is courteous in return. and i won't even tell them about themselves. i wish i could be at peace with that.

part of the reason i get so stressed out is because it is very sad to me how little people care about the world around them. and by world, i mean the humans around them. which way are we headed when we couldn't give a damn about our fellow man? what kind of security do we find in the anonymity of a vehicle in traffic, that we are willing to abandon proper and considerate behavior?

and what's with all the baby boomer mini vans that drive THE WORST?! you have KIDS in the car!!!

and what a day for a terrible mood. it's pretty out, and i'm alive and breathing; and that idiot who cut me off didn't cause an accident and life goes on.

anyway i'm really emotional today for some reason. i'm trying to remember that my joy doesn't come in the way people treat me, or in a smooth commute, or even in things going my way. my joy is much more steady than that.

tomorrow just needs to get here so that i can see john and life can be happy again. :)