I don’t observe Lent in a formal way. But I do like to spend some time in the weeks leading up to Easter by reading either the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection or a book on the subject.
I had just read the gospel of John recently, so I didn’t want to go through it again so soon.
A couple of my favorite books for this time of year are The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs and Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross compiled by Nancy Guthrie. But I wasn’t inclined to pick up one of those again, and I didn’t have any new material I wanted to read. I’m in a number of books already and didn’t want to start something lengthy.
Then I saw that Revive Our Hearts recently posted about the seven last sayings of Christ on the cross. That series just fit my needs this year. If you have some time today and tomorrow, you might want to look at a few of them to prepare your heart for Easter:
- “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
- “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
- “Woman, behold your son.”
- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
- “I am thirsty.“
- “It is finished.”
- “Father, into Your hands I entrust my spirit.”
Here are some of the other good reads I found this week:
You Know What’s Crazy? HT to Challies. “I had 13 hours to sit and think about the drama we’d just been involved in. I thought, ‘It’s crazy that this guy still thought he was all right to fly. He was totally irrational. Any normal person could see that he was in a bad way. But he couldn’t see it. He thought he was fine.’ The thought occurred to me that this is a lot like the irrationality of sin and sinners.”
Intentional Gardening–and an Intentional Life–in Partnership with God. “Standing or stooping in my garden, I portray the work that’s required for spiritual cultivation, for I believe God is pleased when I come to spiritual disciplines with the same fervor I bring to the elimination of ragweed between my tomato plants.”
The Shadow Is a Small and Passing Thing, HT to Challies. “One evening, while Frodo slept and Sam watched, Sam looked up at a single star in the sky above Mordor. Thinking on that star, Tolkien wrote, ‘the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.'”
The Unexpected Beauty of Babel, HT to Challies. “It seems as if, as he so often does, God has chosen to bring beauty through judgment, a greater grace and glory than would have existed had the judgment never taken place. After all, this is the logic of the cross and salvation history. Yes, judgment falls. Yet amazingly God’s grace shines even brighter for it. Should we be surprised that God delights to also do this with the arc of language history?”
Overcome Your Enemies by Dying. “What do you do when people turn against you? When those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ come after you for daring to follow him? When nitpicking and backstabbing are the standard operating procedure in the workplace? When family members use guilt and pressure to manipulate you into doing what they want?”
Protect Teens from Sextortion, HT to Challies. “Last month, international law enforcement agencies released a warning: ‘In 2022, the FBI received thousands of reports related to the financial sextortion of minors, primarily boys, representing an exponential increase from previous years. Unfortunately, the FBI is also aware of more than a dozen suicides following these incidents.”
Thank you for the recommendation for “Revive Our Hearts”. I’ll read through the 7 sayings today. A perfect way to reflect on this time of year. Happy Resurrection Day!
Thanks so much, Barbara!