Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . .

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . .  John 1:14

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:6

This painting was found unfinished on Rembrandt’s easel at the time of his death.  It was different that the seven other works he had created depicting Simeon and the Christ child.

“The heavenly light appears . .  to emanate not at all from the baby, but wholly from the face of Simeon, whose eyes are nearly shut and whose lips are parted in his prayer of praise. . .The vision Rembrandt was attempting to portray is visible in the luminous glow of Simeon’s face.  Here is the last days of his life, Simeon has seen the Deliverer, the Messiah, often promised and long awaited.  His face shines with the knowledge of the sight, and in a remarkably bold insight, Rembrandt has given the face of the Christ child a reflected glow. . . Rembrandt has dispensed with any hint of the glow he has so often given Christ, in drawings , in etchings, and in paintings, and has given that glow instead to Simeon, as a glow from the inside.”  The Biblical Rembrandt,  John I. Durham

When Rembrandt was younger, he painted Christ shining with a holy glow.  In this final painting, as Rembrandt reaches the end of life, we see the old man, Simeon, is the one who is glowing – the light coming from the inside out reflecting out onto the baby in his arms.

He came as the Light of the World to make us the light of the world. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  May it be so this year for you.

You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14

Merry Christmas,

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritngSIsters.com

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
Luke 2: 25 – 32

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . Part Two

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . John 1:14

We love this story by Philip Yancey:

I learned about incarnation when I kept a salt-water aquarium. Management of a marine aquarium, I discovered, is no easy task. . . You would think, in view of all the energy expended on their behalf, that my fish would at least be grateful. Not so. Every time my shadow loomed above the tank they dove for cover into the nearest shell. They showed me one “emotion” only: fear. . .

To my fish I was deity. I was too large for them, my actions too incomprehensible. My acts  of mercy they saw as cruelty; my attempts at healing they viewed as destruction. To change their perceptions, I began to see, would require a form of incarnation. I would have to become a fish and “speak” to them in a language they could understand.

A human being becoming a fish is nothing compared to God becoming a baby. And yet according to the Gospels that is what happened at Bethlehem. The God who created matter took shape within it, as an artist might become a spot on a painting or a playwright a character within his own play. God wrote a story, only using real characters, on the pages of real history. The Word became flesh.   Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

It is amazing that God would enter the world to show us His love!

That’s something to think about.

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . Part One

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . John 1:14

Lovely words in a free devotional series by Janet Denison:  

The “Word” is Jesus. . .   Just as an idea is expressed and made known through words, God is expressed and knowable through Jesus. Jesus had always been with God and he had always been God. Christmas Day is when God made himself visible to the world. And God wanted us to know him as a tiny, newborn infant.

The God of the universe could have presented himself to the world any way he chose. He chose to become a baby, born to a peasant couple in a stable. Jesus is not a “character” of the Christmas story; he authored the Christmas story to reveal his character.

Looking Forward to Christmas,  Janet Denison

We hope you will join us to reflect on Jesus as The Word as we prepare for Christmas this year.

Betsy and Laurie

http://www.WritingSisters.com

Draw Near to God: Day 30

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Day 30: Receiving His blessing

May the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth,

bless you from Zion.

Psalm 134:3

As we close our series together our individual journeys continue.  We continue our efforts to draw near to God with the full assurance that He is waiting for us and he is holding out His offer of grace. 

May it be our blessing, as the years go on, to add one grace to another, and advance upward, step by step, neither neglecting the lower after attaining the higher, nor aiming at the higher, before attaining the lower.  The first grace is faith, the last is love; first comes zeal, afterwards comes loving-kindness; first comes humiliation, then comes peace; first comes diligence, then comes resignation.  May we learn to mature all graces in us; fearing and trembling, watching and repenting, because Christ is coming; joyful, thankful, and careless of the future, because he is come.  Karl Barth

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
 The Lord make His face shine on you, 
And be gracious to you;
 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
 And give you peace. Numbers 6:22

Thank you for journeying with us these past thirty days.  May God bless you as you continue the journey.

Betsy and Laurie

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8

What Good is the Cross?

What Good is the Cross?

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ …”  Galatians 6:14

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Caspar Luiken 1712

So, what good is the cross? It gives us …

Relief from thorns

 “God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.” Colossians 2:13

Immeasurable Value

“Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  Philippians 3:8

Freedom from scars

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by  a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Strength for fear

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John16:33

 “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, … Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3

Focus for life

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

An eternal hope

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36

The cross is empty; Jesus is alive. Let’s proclaim with Paul:

“I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Christ and him crucified.” I Corinthians 2:2

Happy Easter!

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Seven Questions to Prepare for Easter:

Day One: What is your thorn?
Day Two: What do you value?
Day Three: What do you fear?
Day Four: Where do you need healing?
Day Five: What is your focus?
D
ay Six: What is your hope?

 

Where Do You Need Healing?

Where do you need healing?

“They pierced my hands and my feet”
Psalm 22:16

John19d“Nailing Christ to the Cross” Gustave Dore 1865

The nails used to affix Jesus to the cross were heavy, square, made of iron, and 7-9 inches long – the size of railroad spikes.  Nails that large would certainly leave a scar.

The purpose of the nails was to keep men on the cross. Nails were not necessary to keep Jesus on the cross – love kept Jesus on the cross – his love for us. His nails served a different purpose – they left scars.  Those scars are a testimony to the love and power of Jesus Christ.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, no scar can be completely removed.

Scars proved to Thomas and others that Jesus rose from the dead.

Scars are signs of healing.  God provides our healing, and our scars become a testimony to his work.

 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

 When John got a glimpse into heaven, this is what he saw:  “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,standing at the center of the throne”  Revelation 5:6

We don’t know what made Jesus look slain … perhaps it was his scars.

Scars are stronger than regular skin. Scars are a sign that we have overcome.

 Our greatest stories come from our scars. Do you have scars?

Where do you still need healing?

Jesus, Thank you for healing us. Thank you for our scars to remind us of your grace.  Help those who need your healing today. Amen

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Seven Questions to Prepare for Easter:

Day One: What is your thorn?
Day Two: What do you value?
Day Three: What do you fear?

What Do You Fear?

What do you fear?

“they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.”
Matthew 27:34

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“Christ Crucified” Van Dyck c 1640

The first time Jesus was offered vinegar (before he was nailed to the cross) was probably not done out of sympathy. It was likely a drugged form of vinegar given to sedate the victim so he would not struggle when nailed to the cross.

Why did Jesus refuse to drink?

Listen to these instructions to the Jewish priests. “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting … so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean.” Leviticus 10:9-10

At the cross, Jesus was the priest and the sacrifice.  “I lay down my life.” John 10:18

Jesus chose to experience his pain rather than avoid it. He faced his trials without fear.

Alcohol, drugs, food, shopping.  We become addicted to things in an attempt to fill the emptiness inside us and avoid negative feelings. God through scripture offers us himself as an antidote for our fears.

  • “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
  • “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John16:33

We have a choice in life to numb ourselves and avoid our pains or to accept the trials that come and work through them.

In obedience Jesus chose to experience the fullness of life, good and bad.

What do you fear?  Is it time to lay it down?

Jesus, I fear so many things.  Help me today to trust you more and lay down my fears.  Amen

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Seven Questions to Prepare for Easter:

Day One: What is your thorn?
Day Two: What do you value?

Author and Authority

 

 

freedom

 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

 

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

 

Galatians 5:1

 

The experiences we have add depth and meaning to the words we write.  Author and authority go hand in hand. Langston Hughes and the Apostle Paul are both great examples.

 

Where is your life?  Do you have the authority that comes from personal experience? What in your life can you leverage for good?

 

Laurie and Betsy

 

The Writing Sisters

 

(photo taken at Library Way, NYC Public Library)

 

 

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