Do You Remember?

Tomorrow is Holy Friday. Many of us have the day off from work. But how many of us will take time to honor the tragic event that happened two thousand years ago? Many of us pause to remember 9/11 but do we stop to remember on Holy Friday, or are we just like everyone else – making plans to go on vacation, getting the yard work done, bustling about our holiday preparations?

As human beings, we all suffer, but I cannot even fathom what Jesus went through that day on the cross; stripped naked, hands and feet pierced by nails, thorns ripping into his skull. Crucifixion was the ultimate shameful death in those days. So shameful in fact, that Roman citizens were not allowed to be crucified.

Yet Jesus endured the shame of the cross for us: his outstretched arms declaring “I love you this much”. The shedding of his blood paid the price for each and every one of our sins so that we could have the freedom, yes, the freedom, to approach a Holy God directly. Have you ever contemplated these facts?

It seems that Easter is just a blip on the calendar to most these days, but personally, it is a solemn reminder of the price that was paid for me to live a life of freedom, forgiveness and love. If you don’t feel free, forgiven or loved, I encourage you to look to Jesus this Holy Friday. No one can give us a more precious gift, but it is our choice to receive it or not.

Until next time, keep looking up and remember, God loves you, forgives you and has set you free!

9/11 – Have We Forgotten?

Today is the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York City. I recall the horror and shock as I watched the planes crash and burst into flames and listened to the reports of so many lives that were tragically snuffed out that day. The people in my office trembled and fear gripped many. It was a time to gather together, to comfort others and to pray. It was also a time many questioned God.

The message was clear to me however. If ever I doubted the presence of evil in this world, this brutal attack was proof that, yes, evil does exist. It is not something that can be ignored nor should it be. Some would suggest that evil is a figment of our imagination or a concept that has no substance. Some hold a polyanna view of life and live in a plastic bubble la-la land.

Evil is real. There is darkness in our world whether we want to admit it or not. People don’t always choose to do the good or the right thing and many are deceived. This is reality. But there is a bright side – a very bright side, in fact.

The Bible says that good overcomes evil and that out of every bad situation, some good can come of it. As I listened this morning to the tales of heroic efforts, compassion and charity, of new services that were developed to help the victims as a result of the attacks, I pondered the goodness and the grace of God. No, I don’t claim to understand why God allows these events to occur, but I do know that He can use them, and us, to make this world a better place to live.

If you have lost your faith due to some tragic event or loss in your life, I encourage you to give God a second chance. He can turn your pain into something far better. He can heal the hurting and comfort the wounded. Give God a second chance. He always give us one. Until next time, keep looking up!

9/11 – Have We Forgotten?

Today is the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York City. I recall the horror and shock as I watched the planes crash and burst into flames and listened to the reports of so many lives that were tragically snuffed out that day. The people in my office trembled and fear gripped many. It was a time to gather together, to comfort others and to pray. It was also a time many questioned God.

The message was clear to me however. If ever I doubted the presence of evil in this world, this brutal attack was proof that, yes, evil does exist. It is not something that can be ignored nor should it be. Some would suggest that evil is a figment of our imagination or a concept that has no substance. Some hold a polyanna view of life and live in a plastic bubble la-la land.

Evil is real. There is darkness in our world whether we want to admit it or not. People don’t always choose to do the good or the right thing and many are deceived. This is reality. But there is a bright side – a very bright side, in fact.

The Bible says that good overcomes evil and that out of every bad situation, some good can come of it. As I listened this morning to the tales of heroic efforts, compassion and charity, of new services that were developed to help the victims as a result of the attacks, I pondered the goodness and the grace of God. No, I don’t claim to understand why God allows these events to occur, but I do know that He can use them, and us, to make this world a better place to live.

If you have lost your faith due to some tragic event or loss in your life, I encourage you to give God a second chance. He can turn your pain into something far better. He can heal the hurting and comfort the wounded. Give God a second chance. He always give us one. Until next time, keep looking up!