Sunday Faith Blog…EASTER SUNDAY!

crucifixion

Rebellion or Restoration?

One of the greatest challenges of the spiritual life is to receive God’s forgiveness. There is something in us humans that keeps us clinging to our sins and prevents us from letting God erase our past and offer us a completely new beginning. Sometimes it even seems as though I want to prove to God that my darkness is too great to overcome. While God wants to restore me to the full dignity of sonship, I keep insisting that I will settle for being a hired servant. But do I truly want to be restored to the full responsibility of the son? Do I truly want to be so totally forgiven that a completely new way of living becomes possible? Do I trust myself and such a radical reclamation? Do I want to break away from deep-rooted rebellion against God and surrender myself so absolutely to God’s love that a new person can emerge? Receiving forgiveness requires a total willingness to let God be God and do all the healing, restoring, and renewing. As long as I want to do even a part of that myself, I end up with partial solutions, such as becoming a hired servant. As a hired servant, I can still keep my distance, still revolt, reject, strike, run away, or complain about my pay. As the beloved son, I have to claim my full dignity and begin preparing myself to become the father.

– Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal

prodigal son

From Psalm 51

  “Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me….”

What Easter, or as some of you call it “Resurrection Sunday,” means is Christ’s death for our sins…. He did that.  Now it’s our turn to forgive ourselves as he forgives us to this day and always.

galatians

I hope we all let the ‘magic’ of Easter work in us.

“Here is the God I want to believe in: a Father who, from the beginning of creation, has stretched out his arms in merciful blessing, never forcing himself on anyone, but always waiting; never letting his arms drop down in despair, but always hoping that his children will return so that he can speak words of love to them and let his tired arms rest on their shoulders. His only desire is to bless.”   Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal

Let’s be new, better people who feel better because we’ve finally truly let God’s forgiveness sink into our hearts and minds and which gives Him an easier temple through which to do His work.   A prayer works wonders….

He came to us.  We must come back to Him.  And, of course…..enjoy the ham, watching children find eggs, and eating candy, too…. Have a VERY….

happy easterRejoice!
Z

 

 

 

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13 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog…EASTER SUNDAY!

  1. jerrydablade says:

    Loved the meditations Z. Happy Easter!

  2. Ray Cole says:

    He is risen!

    Thanks for a wonderful Resurrection Day post.

  3. bunkerville says:

    Happy Easter to you. Nice post.

  4. I can relate to Henri Nouwen’s initial quote, Z, where being a servant might be more comfortable than being a saint, thinking I’ve been too sinful to qualify for Heaven. He might have been a Mormon because part of their belief is there will be several different levels in Heaven, i.e. different planets where different behavior or qualifying will take place. Something like that. Interesting theory.

  5. First, the Prodigal must realize he took the wrong path.
    That’s often the hard part.
    Happy Resurrection Day, Z, and all who frequent here.

  6. Kid says:

    Happy Easter Z. Very nice.

  7. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, he was a Dutch Catholic priest. I just Wiki’d him. I almost find it stunning that almost everybody I Google is rumored to be struggling with sexuality, or homosexual, etc….you find it mostly with religious types/ It seems to inconsequential to me, but it’s apparently important to those who write those wikipedia pieces.
    Anyway, definitely Catholic.

    Ed, I believe it’s quotes like Nouwen’s which help make us appreciate whatever wrong path we might be on…..IF the person has an open enough heart to even admit transgressions to himself.

    Kid, thanks.

    Thanks for all your good wishes, everybody

  8. Mustang says:

    What a wonderful post this is! I needed to hear this, too … no one is more critical of us than ourselves. I know that God forgives me for my sins when I ask him; it is difficult to forgive myself.

  9. Baysider says:

    This is a powerful post. As I read it over again, I see myself. We struggle like this in our earthly relationships too – feeling we can’t quite measure up. Never fully at home in them. I KNOW God wants to lift me up – He doesn’t want me to ‘do it’ but to be a willing partner in His grace. There is something a little unsettling about “a completely new way of living” that makes us pull back sometimes.

  10. Angel says:

    Hope your holiday was awesome Z! if you end up in spam I will fish u out! xoxoxo

  11. geeez2014 says:

    Thanks, everybody. I REALLY do feel that the Prodigal Son is ALL OF US…..and He’s always willing to take us in.
    Praise God!

  12. geeez2014 says:

    angel! It’s worse than that…I get a BIG red POP UP that says “WHOA …” and suggests your blog is UNSAFE, etc. etc. I KNOW it isn’t, but I can’t take the chance. I am SO SORRY!

  13. LIVE DANGEROUSLY, Z! HOW UNSAFE CAN ACCESSING AN ANGEL BE? 🙂

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