Saturday, April 03, 2021

Catherine of Siena: the nails

Saturday, April 3, 2021
    Holy Saturday
Meditation:
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    —Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Nails were not enough to hold God-and-man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there.
    ... Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Saint Catherine of Siena as seen in her letters, J. M. Dent, 1906, p. 42 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 12:1-2; Matt. 27:35-50; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 2:13-14; Heb. 2:10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have paid for my sin to the utmost.
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Friday, April 02, 2021

Phillips: why they call it Good Friday

Friday, April 2, 2021
    Good Friday
Meditation:
    Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
    —Isaiah 53:10-11 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Those who think God did this almost incredible thing call it Good Friday because only an extremely good God could do a thing like that. All religions attempt to bridge the gulf between the terrific purity of God and the sinfulness of man, but Christianity believes that God built that bridge Himself. This particular Friday commemorates His deliberate action in allowing Himself to be caught up in the sin-suffering-death mechanism which haunts mankind.
    He didn’t let it end there, for He went on, right through death. But the men who believe in Him can’t forget the kind of Person such an act reveals. That’s why they call it Good Friday.
    ... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Is God at Home?, London: Lutterworth Press, 1957, p. 56 (see the book)
    See also Isa. 53:2-11; John 19:16-30; Rom. 6:2-10; 1 Cor. 15:17; Col. 2:11-12; 3:1-3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, without the cross, I am lost.
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Thursday, April 01, 2021

Lewis: Love is nails

Thursday, April 1, 2021
    Maundy Thursday
    Commemoration of Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, teacher, 1872
Meditation:
    When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
    —Luke 23:33 (NIV)
Quotation:
Love’s as hard as nails,
    Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing he had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and his.
    ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Poems, ed., Walter Hooper, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 124 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 10:37-38; Luke 23:33; 1 Cor. 1:18; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 12:1-2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have seen how Your servants may glorify You.
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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Donne: grateful for teaching

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
    Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
Meditation:
    For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
    —1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Our critical day is not the very day of our death, but the whole course of our life; I thank him, that prays for me when my bell tolls; but I thank him much more, that catechizes me, or preaches to me, or instructs me how to live.
    ... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. VI, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CLVIII, p. 291 (see the book)
    See also 1 Thess. 2:3-4; Ps. 68:20; Isa. 40:11; John 6:26-27; Rom. 12:4-8
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, send me instruction for living to Your will.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

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Madeleva: honest men

Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Meditation:
    One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
    But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
    —Luke 23:39-41 (NIV)
Quotation:
Blow out your foolish lamps; here are two honest men,
    Diogenes;
A thief and a blasphemer; or, I think, a god,
    On gallows-trees.
    ... Mary Madeleva (Mary Evaline Wolff) (1887-1964), Gates and other Poems, New York: Macmillan, 1938, p. 22 (see the book)
    See also Luke 23:39-43; Matt. 11:16-19; 26:65-66; Luke 7:31-35; 2 Cor. 1:9-11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have taken the burden of my sin upon Yourself.
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Monday, March 29, 2021

Kierkegaard: anxiety

Monday, March 29, 2021
    Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
Meditation:
    Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”
    —Luke 12:22-23 (NIV)
Quotation:
    To live thus—to cram today with eternity and not wait the next day—the Christian has learnt and continues to learn (for the Christian is always learning) from the Pattern. How did He manage to live without anxiety for the next day—He who from the first instant of His public life, when He stepped forward as a teacher, knew how His life would end, that the next day was His crucifixion; knew this while the people exultantly hailed Him as King (ah, bitter knowledge to have at precisely that moment!), knew, when they were crying, “Hosanna!”, at His entry into Jerusalem, that they would cry, “Crucify Him!”, and that it was to this end that He made His entry. He who bore every day the prodigious weight of this superhuman knowledge—how did He manage to live without anxiety for the next day?
    ... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Christian Discourses, tr. Walter Lowrie, New York: Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 78 (see the book)
    See also Luke 12:22-23; Matt. 21:9; Mark 15:13-14; Luke 21:34-36; 23:21-24
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I look to Your example for living with anxiety.
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Sunday, March 28, 2021

Hammarskjold: the way ends on the Cross

Sunday, March 28, 2021
    Palm Sunday
Meditation:
    Then [Jesus] said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
    —Luke 9:23-24 (NIV)
Quotation:
    He who has surrendered himself to it knows that the Way ends on the Cross—even when it is leading him through the jubilation of Gennesaret or the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
    ... Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961), Markings, tr. Leif Sjöberg & W. H. Auden, (q.v.), New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964 (post.), p. 91 (see the book)
    See also Luke 9:23-24; Mark 6:53-56; Luke 14:26-27; John 12:12-13; Rom. 8:13-14; Gal. 2:20; 5:24
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You keep my feet on the Way.
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