Reflecting back on Lent and Easter Sunday, as Jesus continued his mission on earth, the apostles were to confess on how this could be, especially since Jesus first appeared to Mary, who Jesus told to go and tell the others the good news.
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the 12, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of his nails, and put my fingers into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-25)
We can see why the course of these events could be so overwhelming to the apostles as Jesus continued his mission. And after eight days, His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and he stood in the midst and said, “Peace be with you!” At this time Jesus instructed Thomas to reach his finger and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Jesus says to Thomas do not be unbelieving, but believe. Thomas replied to Jesus by saying “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:26-28)
We always remember Thomas as the doubting Thomas. But the apostles make it very clear that as believers, we must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe the name of the Son of God. (John 20:31)
We Christians of today place our unfailing faith and hope that we have been given blessed assurances that someday we will see Jesus and he will come to take us to a place where there will be no more suffering, tears, sadness, pain and sorrow.
Ash Wednesday was on February 18th this year, and this is the day that signifies the beginning of Lent. But what exactly is Lent?
Lent is a span of time on the Churches calendar that starts with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday (which falls on April 5th this year). This span of time represents the 40 days of fasting that Jesus experienced in the desert, and Easter is the celebration of Jesus resurrecting from the grave after he was crucified.
For Christians this is a time for reflection and repenting. Oftentimes people will put an extra focus on praying in order to prepare them for Easter. Lent is observed by many Christian denominations, but not all of them. However those that do observe it use it as a way to focus their thoughts on Jesus during the Easter season.
Ways to Observe Lent
There are different ways to observe Lent; below is a list of the most popular.
- On Ash Wednesday, many will mark their foreheads with ash as a symbol of mourning their sin.
- Many churches will have special worship services. They will usually focus on man’s need for repentance and will oftentimes include an extra reading from Scripture or have special prayers.
- Many will practice give up a hobby or behavior during Lent. There are a wide range of options for this, but most will choose something that will prove to be a challenge as a way of self-denial. This can also include fasting schedules to closer mimic Jesus.
- Some Christians will devote special activities such as daily scripture readings, times of meditation and prayer, or even possibly finding somewhere to volunteer.
- Lastly, many Catholics will not eat meat on Fridays. It’s been said that fish was considered a “humble” meal which could be compared to Jesus’ simple lifestyle.
Check out this great site about Bible Versus for Lent!
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to reflect on all our blessings that our Lord has provide throughout the year. It is easy to over look these blessings like our health, jobs, homes and means of transportation. In the everyday hustle and bustle we should always be ever mind to give thanks and praises to our Lord.
The Lord said in Deuteronomy 26:9-10: He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land of milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the first fruit of the soil that you, Lord have given me.
Christmas is an excellent time to reveal in fact that God is good and loving God. So as we go about preparing for Christmas let’s keep in mind that Jesus is the reason for this Season.
Also, do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).
Celebrate the spirit of the holidays with continuous daily pray for Peace, Love, and Joy.
May your Holidays be filled warmth and happiness that last throughout the New Year.
Of all biblical words, “anoint” is one of the most important. It plays an important role in the workings of God within human beings.
While the dictionary may say that to anoint means “to smear or rub with oil, typically as part of a religious ceremony”, practicing Christians understand that it means so much more. Anointing a person means to symbolize God’s own workings.
In biblical times, those who were chosen by God for positions of leadership were covered in anointing oil as a way to empower and protect them for the arduous tasks ahead. While we may handle the oils, it is only God who has the power to delegate such authority and work within us by way of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, the most significant anointing was that of Jesus Christ. In fact, the word “Christ” goes beyond the man named Jesus, referring to “the anointed” among us all. The power of God works within all of us Christians. When we use anointing oils, we are symbolizing that strength and power that He provides.
The beauty of Christianity, and the gift of Christ, is that all of his followers are the anointed ones. Like the kings of the Old Testament who were delegated with the responsibility to do the work of God, we have all been chosen to use His strength to carry on that work.
To use anointing oils is to symbolize what it means to be a Christian, with a life devoted to serving God’s calling to us all.
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