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Tag Archives: darkness

Good Friday/Holy Saturday: Following Jesus into the Darkness

We have not done a good job of remembering Good Friday or Holy Saturday in the Western church. We like to quickly jump to Easter. Tonight at New Life Fellowship Church, on Good Friday, we will remember Christ’s crucifixion through a Tenebrae (meaning “darkness” or “shadows”) style service. The service of Tenebrae has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s passion, using Scripture, silence, worship, and darkness. As lights are progressively extinguished, we enter into the overwhelming reality of His death.  After the final candle is extinguished, we will sit in total darkness for 5 minutes, reminding us of the terrible horror of Jesus laid in the tomb. Why? The cross is the pattern of our lives. Everything happened to Jesus in some way happens to us. That includes the tomb. On the first Holy Saturday, the 11 disciples were at a Wall (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, chapter. Read more.

Ash Wednesday: A Close Encounter

Why pause for Ash Wednesday, the gateway to Lent which climaxes in Good Friday and Easter 40 days from today? The following are three simple reasons: 1. Encountering God. Abram once entered the deep, terrifying darkness and encountered God there (Gen. 15). Moses wasn’t looking for a burning bush on the day he was summoned (Ex. 3). Jacob was trying to sleep when he wound up headlocked by an angel (Gen. 32). Ash Wednesday is positioning ourselves for such an encounter. 2. Rhythm. In our 24-7, non-stop world, God invites us to a rhythm – in our days (Offices), weeks (Sabbaths), and years (the church calendar). Unlike the world which centers its calendar to the school year or vacations, we anchor our lives in the Incarnation (Christmas) and the Resurrection (Easter). 3. Mortality. This day reminds us of that we created, limited beings. “Dust you are and to dust you shall return.”   We. Read more.

Hurricane Sandy — A Pause

Each day brings new stories and images of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. An old friend had his house completely washed away in the storm. He had built it himself. The following is from his e-mail to me two days ago: “I’m having trouble accepting this all as the will of God…The realization that everything a man has worked for in his whole life has been washed away in just one 2-3 hour period. I don’t know, but I wish I did.” Sandy is an invitation to pause and ponder. The following are a few thoughts out of my journal from this past week: 1. God is Greater and More Powerful than I Realize. He remains “seated on his throne, high and exalted” (Isaiah 6:1). The force and size of a hurricane is humbling. 2. You and I Are Not in Control of Our Lives or Destiny. Take another long look at the roller coaster. Read more.

"Between Dreams" – Gifts from a Wise Mentor

I spent the day yesterday with Leighton Ford, a mentor of mine for the past 30 years.  Leighton again shared out of his life as he approaches his 81st birthday and looks forward to another five years of encouraging mentoring communities around the world. The following are a few golden nuggets from our time: 1. The time “between dreams” is perhaps the most important in the spiritual journey. Alan Jones, in Exploring Spiritual Direction, writes: “If we are willing to wait in the darkness “between dreams,” a larger and wider reality appears and life’s dream takes on richer images and more liberating structures. It’s often at a place such as “between dreams” that a guide, a friend, or spiritual director can wait with us in a dark place until a new way of looking at things emerges for us. Many a marriage, for example, turns sour and dies precisely at the point of its. Read more.