Good Friday

Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed:-
 
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will.”
 
(Matthew 26: 39)
 
And in John 19: 28-30 we read:-
 
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
 
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
 
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
 
Thank you, dear Jesus, for having the courage and strength to suffer all the pain and humiliation of being crucified upon the Cross at Calvary so that all our sins may be forgiven and so that we may enjoy eternal life in your Kingdom.
 
Amen
Good Friday
With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey
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In the Shadows of Victory – Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week

In the Shadows of Victory you are invited to ride the rollercoaster of Holy Week.

We now begin the journey, remembering that already we stand with Jesus Christ our Saviour in the shadow of the cross, remembering that for him, it was a very dangerous day.

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing mounting the donkey at Bethpage, as this was where the priests had calculated the city limits. For Jesus to mount here was a statement that spoke volumes to all that were there. It was, in effect, as if He was shouting from the rooftops that He was the Messiah.

Now, position yourself at the side of the road, having first run and chopped down a palm branch that you are waving frantically.

Picture if you can the Roman army standing there, thousands of them, making it very clear that you are part of an occupied people. Look up at the temple on the hill, and look beyond it. There overshadowing the holy place is the fist shaped Roman fortress. Built purposely taller than the temple just to remind you who was in charge.

Listen to the crowd hailing him as their King. But He does not come on a war horse, only a humble donkey. And He does not come with swords and clubs; He is armed only with God’s words of peace and love.

Wave your branches, as they are the national symbol of your people. Wave them at the coming Messiah, showing your defiance to the Romans, believing that this Jesus would send them packing once and for all.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Picture the children laughing and playing around your feet. In your fear, you push them forward. Somehow this fear is always lurking beneath your joy; your fear of the Roman soldiers and the power they hold over you.

The children – they are young, surely these soldiers wouldn’t launch an attack against them, no matter how unruly the crowd become. Push them forward, put them between you and the soldiers, not because you do not love your children, but because you fear for your own safety.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Sing your hosannas, not just a song of happiness, but also a song of rebellion, a song that speaks of freedom, and of victory over your enemies. Stand tall in the face of those who persecute you. Hold firm, ready to take up arms and fight, ready to rally around this new king and take back, by force if you have to, your land, and your home.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

To order your copy via kindle (£1.99/$2.40) please go to:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L9UYDKS

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HAKO7L6

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

Easter Greetings from the World Methodist Council

I greet you in the name of our Crucified and Risen Lord, Jesus Christ on this special day as we proclaim with Christians throughout the word; “The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed. Hallelujah”.

The past week Christians reflected on Jesus’ march on Jerusalem that ended in the crucifixion. We were further shocked and horrified by the cowardly acts of terror inflicted on innocent civilians in Corte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Belgium. People all around the world expressed collective solidarity and grief with the victims of these ghastly deeds. As on Good Friday for many it seemed as if hope died but death could not hold Jesus.

The story of Jesus would have been nothing more than an occasional point of reference of an inspirational teacher, a charismatic figure or a martyr if it had simply ended with the crucifixion, but Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave on the third day. For this reason, we are the people of the resurrection and can affirm with Christians throughout the centuries that; “God Raised Jesus from the Dead”.

The Easter message is about the unlimited, boundless grace, victory, joy and renewed hope for believers. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, death is described as, “The road from which no traveller has ever returned”. (Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1) He was wrong because one did return, and his name is Jesus, the Christ. It is in His name that we gather today as an Easter people, a people of Hope. With Easter, we look at death and the grave differently, and words like hopelessness and impossible loose its meaning.

Easter functions as a divine proclamation and a decisive victory over the evil forces of sin and death. Therefore, we can look with confidence towards the future with God.

As a people of hope, we live in the shadow cast by the resurrection and everything should be interpreted in the light of this event.

Happy Easter!

Ivan Abrahams
General Secretary
World Methodist Council

A Dusty Room

They came unexpectedly. Two of them following a man with a jar – he pointed me out, and then disappeared as the others hurried towards me. I recognised them immediately; they were followers of Him, the teacher.

We had spoken before, this teacher and I, He spoke wisely and seemed somehow to be able to look inside my very soul.

We had discussed money, something that I was very fond of, but He seemed to think that I should give more away, help the local poor, reach out to those in need around me. I was a little taken aback; after all, who was this man to tell me what I should do with my own money?

But He sowed a seed, and it really got me thinking. It was as if He knew it would, as if He even knew the outcome of my thinking.

Then of course it happened, his two disciples arrived and asked for my upper room so that they and the teacher could share the Passover together.

Here was my chance, to show Him that I had been thinking about our conversation. I welcomed the party and told them I would prepare it for them.

They went back to give Jesus the news and I went straight to the room that had not been used for a while and needed a good clean. I spent the afternoon cleaning everywhere, making it ready to receive Him.

It was not too long before they showed up. Everyone looked hot and bothered, He smiled at me as I had said nothing about charging Him for the use of the room. He knew I was beginning to change.

He asked me for a bowl of water, which I provided and then to everyone’s amazement He bent down and washed his disciples’ feet. I have never seen a teacher, a leader do that before. Who was this man who turned the norm on its head and changed everything from the inside out?

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

The Last 7 Sayings that Jesus said on the Cross

These are the last seven sayings that Jesus said on the cross.
 
Sometimes they are referred to as the “Seven Words.” There’s also a bit of a debate on the exact order of the sayings, but the following is a complete list with a plausible order.
 
Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
 
Luke 23:43, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
 
John 19:26-27, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”
 
Matt. 27:46, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
 
John 19:28, “I am thirsty.”
 
John 19:30, “It is finished!”
 
Luke 23:46, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”
With many heartfelt blessings
Geoffrey

A Dangerous Day for Jesus

Now that we are approaching Easter – and all that that means to Christians throughout the world – I would strongly recommend that if you have a kindle you download a copy of the wonderfully inspirational book ‘In The Shadows of Victory:- Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

Becky has created an interactive book, featuring stories from the viewpoint of many of the people that in some ways were involved in the last few days of Jesus’ journey towards the Cross.

For further information and to download this marvellous book for only £1.99 please go to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L9UYDKS/

To wet your appetite so to speak this is the first chapter:-

Dangerous Day 

We now begin the journey, remembering that already we stand with Jesus Christ our Saviour in the shadow of the cross, remembering that for him, it was a very dangerous day.

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing mounting the donkey at Bethpage, as this was where the priests had calculated the city limits. For Jesus to mount here was a statement that spoke volumes to all that were there. It was, in effect, as if He was shouting from the rooftops that He was the Messiah.

Now, position yourself at the side of the road, having first run and chopped down a palm branch that you are waving frantically.

Picture if you can the Roman army standing there, thousands of them, making it very clear that you are part of an occupied people. Look up at the temple on the hill, and look beyond it. There overshadowing the holy place is the fist shaped Roman fortress. Built purposely taller than the temple just to remind you who was in charge.

Listen to the crowd hailing him as their King. But He does not come on a war horse, only a humble donkey. And He does not come with swords and clubs; He is armed only with God’s words of peace and love.

Wave your branches, as they are the national symbol of your people. Wave them at the coming Messiah, showing your defiance to the Romans, believing that this Jesus would send them packing once and for all.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Picture the children laughing and playing around your feet. In your fear, you push them forward. Somehow this fear is always lurking beneath your joy; your fear of the Roman soldiers and the power they hold over you.

The children – they are young, surely these soldiers wouldn’t launch an attack against them, no matter how unruly the crowd become. Push them forward, put them between you and the soldiers, not because you do not love your children, but because you fear for your own safety.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Sing your hosannas, not just a song of happiness, but also a song of rebellion, a song that speaks of freedom, and of victory over your enemies. Stand tall in the face of those who persecute you. Hold firm, ready to take up arms and fight, ready to rally around this new king and take back, by force if you have to, your land, and your home.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

A very happy Good Friday to you all

May our Father God bless you mightily on this very special day

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Widow’s Offering

We were there in the temple with Him again, the way we had been many times before. We were all there, the twelve of us and some of the women who had followed Him from the beginning.

We had gone to pray, but as we had come to expect, nothing was ever straightforward with Him. Many people grouped together, a few women congregated in the courtyard and several men entered the main part of the temple almost as one. We hovered in the doorway waiting for instruction, teaching or blessing. We had not yet grasped that the blessing would come from Him.He ushered us through the gates, and deep into the heart of the temple and there He began to teach us.

“Look,” He said, “Watch as the men of wealth give their offerings to God. They give little of what they have and keep much for themselves. They give little, not only from their pockets but also from their very souls,” He told us.

He paused, for breath and for effect. He wanted us to take it all in, but I’m not sure we did, I’m not sure we really understood.

“Look,” He continued “Watch as the widow places her last two coins into the plate – this is all that she has and yet she gives it willingly to her God. She offers all that she can, the little money she possesses and all of herself.”

We did as we were told, we looked.

We looked and we saw the men of wealth giving little and we looked and saw the bent over old widow giving all she had, but what were we to do next?

Did He want us to go to her and lend her money or did he want us to rebuke the men for not giving enough? We did not know or understand what He wanted from us.

Years later we recalled the scene and reflected on what Jesus was trying to tell us. It is important that whatever we have we give generously back to God so that he can use it to further the kingdom.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey