destiny, Father, joy, meditate, perspective, reality, rest, resurrection, victory
It’s that time again: the season to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection, and whether my life’s course, vision, and attitude line up with the significance of what He did for us.
It’s a spiritual ‘spring cleaning’. Just like house cleaning, it’s way easier if ongoing maintenance has been done in between.
Just as we get all spruced up to attend a Gala, Lent is a time of getting ready to celebrate then happiest and most important event in History.
It’s an opportunity to slow down and focus on God, all He has done for us, and seeing if anything is coming between us and Him, removing anything keeping us from living the full potential of our purpose
Certainly, these things are to be remembered daily, but there is something powerful in setting this season aside to ‘Re-Live’ Jesus’ sufferings, death, and resurrection with Him, and with others.
The concept of ‘reliving’ the Passion of Jesus was brought to a whole new dimension for me this year as, for the first time, I celebrated Holy Pascha in a Coptic Orthodox Church. It was an intensely profound week:
They spend day and night, from Palm Sunday until Resurrection day, recounting and reliving what Jesus went through at each hour. This ‘reliving’ was a feast for the physical and spiritual senses, as the Coptic Church spares no effort or expense honoring the heavy price Jesus paid for us. [for a sample of this extravagant celebration*, click here]
Ironically, as I took in the ornate beauty of the church and celebration, my stomach churned as I remembered the horror of the cross. And afterward, the ineffable joy of the resurrection. ‘Passion’ perfectly describes the week’s highs and lows.
This practice of pulling back from the clamor of ‘life’ and society has been a critical part of entering into the destiny that God has for me. As I flush out the cacophony of voices that try to dictate what I supposedly need and want, I am able to come back to my senses and decipher what my Perfect Father has to say about it all. And, once again, my mind is blown and my heart ravished:
“God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes”. (Psalm 18:24 MSG)
“He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!” (Psalm 18:19 MSG)
*the link above will take you to an excerpt of a Coptic Holy Pascha celebration: the Burial Ceremony, during which an icon of Jesus is wrapped in rose petals and aromatic spices, ‘buried’, and reopened on resurrection Sunday.
Wendy Dena Cohen said:
What a blessing! Thank you! On Shavuot/Pentecost I was at the Wall in Jerusalem. As the orthodox men danced in a circle in front of the Wall, a LARGE flock of doves (hundreds) flew in circles, round and round and round, over their heads … for a very long time … as long as I stood there, the dance “as above, so below,” continued … round and round and round … making “gils” (literally means “circles,” usually translated rejoicing) in God’s Presence.
When I was in Thessaloniki, I had the opportunity to visit a Greek Orthodox church from the 5th century … and what really struck me was how much they focus on the Resurrection … there were many, many paintings of the crucifixion, but, at least as many of the Risen Savior setting the captives free, with paintings of dead men, shackled to death, coming out of their graves and walking on earth, (and I think) rising into heaven.
He came to set us, the captives free. Alleluiah! It becomes more and more a GREAT REALITY in my life. My past no longer matters. I have been completely set free in Messiah through His Blood and His Resurrection. Amen and amen.