Friday, April 6, 2012

Jesus Only

Right now stores are full of Easter decorations and candies.  Churches and schools are hosting events celebrating Easter, but just like Christmas, so many seemed to have missed the point.  Some argue against Christians celebrating Easter due to it's pagan origins.  I do celebrate it, but try to remain focused on the One who was resurrected. 

As Abby grows I intend to create some Easter traditions.  Maybe next year we will try to make the resurrection cookies together.  Today we "painted" a resurrection butterfly after hearing the story read this morning at our weekly mom's group.  This weekend I plan to read the resurrection story from her Jesus Bible storybook even though it seems I can only get through about one paragraph before her attention span evaporates.  It's been some time since I've read Treasuring God in Our Traditions, but I would recommend it. Noel Piper offers parents ideas about how to honor God in your holiday traditions. 

While we should be celebrating the power of the resurrection of Christ and the spiritual life that has been imputed to us, we are distracted by food, Easter egg hunts, decorations, and candy.  Where is Christ in all of this?  Has He been forgotten and ignored? 

I'm currently reading (in addition to about 10 other books and pamphlets) Jesus Only by good ol' Horatius Bonar.  Here is an excerpt from my reading tonight:
"Do we not often, too, study the Bible as if it were a book of law, and not the revelation of grace?  We draw a cloud over it, and read it as a volume written by a hard master.  A harsh tone is thus imparted to its words, and the legal element obscures the evangelical.  We are slow to read it as a revelation of the love of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; as the book of grace, specially written for us by the Spirit of grace.  The law no doubt is in it, yet the Bible is not law, but gospel.  As Mount Sinai rears its head, an isolated mass of hard, red granite, amid a thousand desert mountains of softer and less stern material, so does the law stand in the Bible- a necessary part of it-but not the characteristic of it; "added because of transgressions, till the seed should come"  (Gal. 3:19).  Yet have not our suspicious hearts darkened this Book of light?  Do we not often read it as the proclamation of a command to do, instead of a declaration of what the love of God has done?"
And another insightful reminder from a previous page:
 "Some have tried to give directions to sinners 'how to get converted,' multiplying words without wisdom, leading the sinner away from the cross by setting him upon doing,  not believing.   Our business is not to give any such directions, but, as the apostles did, to preach Christ crucified, a present Saviour, and a present salvation.  Then it is that sinners are converted, as the Lord Himself said, "I, if I be lifted up . . . will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32)

Will you reflect on the Gospel this Easter and be reminded of the suffering of the cross, the power of the resurrection and the miracle of your own regeneration?

(Jesus Only is an excerpt from the book "God's Way of Peace" which can be accessed here)

1 comment:

  1. "Do we not often read it as the proclamation of a command to do, instead of a declaration of what the love of God has done?" and that last quote, so true!


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