Thinking of Mother’s

9 05 2020

Mother’s Day 2020

This Sunday, May 10, will be Mother’s Day.  This year the annual celebration for our mother’s role in our lives may be shaped and overshadowed by the corona virus, Covid-19, and the economic crisis resulting from national lock down.

Covid-19, a disease caused by the novel corona virus, emerged out of China in late December 2019.  Some believe it may have been even earlier. No matter when it emerged, the impact is undeniable.  We still don’t know the virus’ origins—whether lab-derived, lab-leaked or naturally occurring. The victims of this virus have been predominantly those who are elderly or weakened by underlying medical conditions.

Tens of thousands have perished here in the US.  Most tragically, the very vulnerable, located in nursing home facilities, have been the victims of this virus.  Careless staff or ignorant visitors unwittingly transferred the virus to patients who had no way to defend themselves.  As a result, all nursing homes nationwide have been closed to visitors.

This brings me to Mother’s Day 2020. My dear mother is in a nursing home located in a county that is a cluster hot spot for the virus. She is 95 years of age and in reasonable health, although bed ridden.  She has two living children, 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.  This year no one will be allowed to kiss her face or hug her neck.  There is a strange pain about not being able to honor her life in person.  This maybe our last Mother’s Day with her living. Just this week we were informed that the invisible enemy made its way into a staff member of the facility. To date there is no spread to other staff or patients, and we thank God for that news. We are praying for all in these difficult situations.

When we think of all the moms and grandmothers who have lost their lives during this pandemic, it’s grievous. We think of all the children and grandchildren who will not be able to celebrate Mother’s Day 2020 with their special lady. Many could not even say goodbye as their loved ones transitioned from this earthly life.  Please know that there are those who share your loss and care about your pain.

So, this Mother’s Day will be different for many of us. How can we deal with it?  If your mom is living and you can reach out in some special way, please do it. A phone call, a video chat, a special card, have a meal delivered or send a gift. If your mother is no longer in the land of the living perhaps you can celebrate her life in a creative way. Reflect, recall, and share memories or pictures that would honor her life with others.

Most mom’s work ridiculously hard and make real sacrifices for their children. I know mine did. She was a single mom who overcame addictions to give us a shot at life.  Of course, not all moms are positive role models. Some may have been dysfunctional– leaving us with painful memories.  None the less, we all can be grateful that we had a chance at life because our mother chose life.

This year let’s all do what we can for our mother or for her memory. Let’s celebrate the woman or women who embraced us like a mother.  Let’s do something kind and loving for our mom, grand moms, or surrogate moms because Mother’s Day 2020 will be like no other Mother’s Day in most of our lives. Moms are special. Grandmothers are very cool! Never underestimate the power of a righteous woman to bring those in her care to their full potential.  God bless mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. I miss you. I love you. I will, by God’s grace, see you soon. Since I cannot visit you, I will help others celebrate the women who gave them life and nurtured them in their journey into and through this world.

HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.  Ephesians 6:2-3 NASB

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL – YOU ARE NOBLE AND CHERISHED BY HEAVEN

 





Palm Sunday-Missing the Day of Your Visitation

5 04 2020

700x411-PalmSunday

This Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020,  will be like no other in my lifetime.  Millions will NOT flock to church in their Sunday best to sing, praise and hail the coming of the triumphant Jesus.  The pandemic of Covid-19 has changed the way we will celebrate this day.  Most churches will not be open.  Many will celebrate online in some way.  We all have an unusual opportunity without the trappings of religion and ceremony to meet Jesus in a very personal way.  I have deep concern that we could miss the time of our visitation.   Will we see him for who He is?  Will we pause in the din of the crowd to ponder the consequences of missing the moment?  In the panic and frenzy of crisis will we STOP to ponder His claims? 

PALM SUNDAY- For Jesus, what a difference 7 days will make!

The scene is joyous, sounds of a party, crowds chanting, people running, children jumping. The crowds gather to see a man riding on a donkey entering the city.  “Look it is Jesus of Nazareth, the miracle worker,” some cry!  Others run to retrieve palm branches to wave at the procession.  With shouts of praise the crowd chants words from the Psalms, ” Hosanna to the son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”   They chant Hosanna, meaning, “Save now, we pray,” expressing the anticipation and hopes of the crowd.  Has this Jesus come to declare Himself King of the Jews and deliver us from Rome?  Throwing their garments in the road in respect for an honored guest they receive Him into the city, with shouts of, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”  A crowd was running before Him and running behind Him chanting, praising, and singing as His closest followers walked alongside wondering in amazement what does this all mean.  It was quite a day, and an exciting celebration.

The Gospels record the story in Matt 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12.  This is what Christians celebrate as Palm Sunday, the first day of Passion Week.   The name is derived from the palm branches that were waved at Jesus and laid in the road before Him as he entered Jerusalem, the City of David.  The colt or donkey that He was riding upon was lent to Him by a generous benefactor so He could fulfill the prophecy of the coming of a King to Jerusalem, Zechariah 9:9.

This day marks the beginning of the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus.  In just a few short days that same crowd would be chanting, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” as well as “Give us Barabbas!”  They would exchange Jesus, the miracle worker, for Barabbas the common thief.

The crowd of that day, no different than crowds of today, entered into the frenzy of the majority.  While wildly chanting, praising, and running with the fellow next to them they were asking, “Who is this?” Matt 21:10.  “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee!” rings out as the answer and there is the problem.

Luke records in his Gospel a profound insight into the man Jesus who in the midst of accolades, praises, and cheering crowds of adoration is stuck with deep sorrow to the point of weeping for they had missed the time of their visitation.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.  “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19: 41- 44  NASB

The future destruction of Jerusalem foretold just a few decades away.  Here we get a glimpse into the heart of God who weeps deeply and grieves that the coming consequences need not be if only their eyes had opened.  The life and ministry of Jesus had afforded them a strategic season, τὸν καιρὸν, of visitation, inspection, and investigation.  They had the opportunity to see Jesus for who He was and accept his testimony concerning Himself.  Instead they either missed it all together, “Who is this?” or projected onto him their own analysis of who he was, “This is Jesus, the prophet!”

It is no different today.  Like many church going Christians of today the citizens of Jerusalem followed the crowd, sang the songs, declared Him King of Kings but missed the intention of His coming and the authority of His words.  Then there are others who look to the knowledgeable in the crowd and ask the question “Who is this?” Only to be misled by their uninformed answer!  Oh, and let us not forget the religiously arrogant who are simply jealous that the crowds are groping to know and follow Jesus rather than listening to them.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  John 14:6 NASB

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26  NASB

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 NASB

 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  John 6:35 NASB

Perhaps you have heard the claims of Christ in your life.  Maybe even joined a crowd shouting Hosanna.  But the real questions is have you recognized your day of visitation?  Have you heard the words of Jesus and believed them?  He is more than a prophet, more than a miracle worker, more than a great teacher.  Jesus of Nazareth of the Galilee, the man who would suffer upon a tree for you and me, He is God very God, maker of Heaven and earth!  He is the judge of the living and the dead.  He will come again to receive to Himself all who have put their hope and trust in Him.  If you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and confess with your mouth that He is Lord while turning from a life without God you will experience His salvation and Life.  Ask Him today to fill you with His Holy Spirit and —- Do not miss the Day of Your Visitation!

Consider this Prayer:

Gracious God and Father of the Lord Christ, we are in an hour of great need.  Pain and suffering are all around us.  Like the day Jesus road into Jerusalem under Roman military occupation we all face a formidable enemy.  The Covid-19 virus has infected our world and brought death just like sin has infected the world and brought death.  We look to the claims of Jesus and cry out for mercy.  Deliver us,  oh Lord, we pray.  Grant us salvation of spirit, soul, and body.  Fill us at this very moment with your Holy Spirit and grant us eternal life.  We lift our voice for all the sick and afflicted that you would glorify your name and have mercy.  Please send your Word and heal the nations. Today, I do not wish to miss the day of my visitation.  I chose to follow the Jesus way.   Meet me, I pray, to your praise and glory, Amen.








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