Good Friday: Reflections on Luke 23:34


      The God man hung suspended above the crowd on a device constructed to slowly torture a man to death. The eyes of those who had laid palm branches along the road crying, “Hosanna!” as he’d ridden into town only days before looked up at him–-but not in love. Not in admiration or respect. Their hearts were full of pride––pride in dominating the man who claimed to be the messiah. 
      Perfection himself had come to serve and be slain. He had come in all humility, foregoing all the worship he deserved in order to perform the ultimate act of love. For these sinners. For the very people who sought to destroy him, and in so doing become their own gods.
      And yet Christ saw through this. He knew not only the depth of their sinfulness, but of their ignorance. And despite their hard hearts, he loved them still. He cried out for their forgiveness even as he struggled to draw breath. Even as four inch nails cut into his flesh. 
      In that moment, Christ’s body was weak. Shattered. Wasting away. He was feeling the full effect of this humanity that he’d robed himself in. But he didn’t sin. As the full weight of the pride of his captors bore down on him, he remained humble. He looked out on the crowd and loved them. They broke him, but his heart was broken for them. What a glorious picture of the God man! Both fully God and fully man until the very moment of death. 
      What would we have done in that moment? Beg to die? To be released? Or would we be overwhelmed with anger, bitterness, or self-pity––feeling as though we deserved better treatment, that we were entitled. The irony is that if we hung there, we would deserve no better. We’ve sinned, and we deserve to die. And yet the only sinless man who has ever walked the earth humbly gave up what he was entitled to––worship by the crowd––in order to show the greatest act of love of all time. To die for them.
      And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)


 Being a parent will sanctify you

Being a parent will sanctify you

I'm eight months pregnant, trying to get myself and the girls out of the OB office, through the front desk (to register at the hospital), and on our way to drop Jane off for school. The woman at the front desk is extremely rude to me, so I leave to bring the paperwork back another time.

And I'm running late.

I snap at the girls while getting them in the car, then promptly apologize. I tell them I'm sorry for yelling, and that I'm sad because the lady was mean to me. Then it hits me that I need to be consistent with everything Tim and I have been teaching them lately about being kind and forgiving others.

I had been so angry leaving the hospital, and just I wanted to get in the car, pick up the phone, and complain about snarky desk lady. Instead I force myself to say to the girls, "But . . . I need to forgive her."

I'd forgotten my phone at home which turned out to be a blessing. I was forced to spend the whole drive to Jane's school telling myself to forgive the woman at the front desk. These little girls make me realize how frequently I don't act the way I want them to.

Children: The proof of human depravity

Children: The proof of human depravity

Here's the prosperity gospel at work in my child . . . . Further proof that you don't have to teach bad theology.

Maggie is carrying around a cup with some coins in it. 

Maggie: This is MY money!
Me: You know what you need more than money? You need Jesus. 
Maggie: I need my Jesus to give me my money.

I don't have to make this stuff up, ya'll! She may not be much of a theologian, but she is dang cute!

Authentic repentance

Authentic repentance

This article from Christianity Today is a pretty offensive one considering the trending authenticity in American churches right now. But I'm a huge fan of not throwing the baby out with the bath water. Ever since attending an "authentic" church years ago, I've seen time and again how it's crippled the faith of some believers. Once struggles and sins are confessed to a friend, repentance is sometimes forgotten altogether.

And now, this trend has invaded mommy culture like crazy. Isn't it important not to try to portray your life as perfect when it's far from it? Absolutely! (Here's where we don't throw that baby away!)

All those times I yelled at my kids today because they were driving me crazy? My fault. We all know we can't make our kids perfect no matter how hard we try. But I can fight the temptation to yell, and instead teach them the gospel through proper discipline.

And I'll be the first to authentically say that the piles of dishes and laundry are not always a result of being truly overwhelmed. In fact, most of the time (at least in my home), they're a result of laziness. Which is sin that should change.

Now please don't hear me say that having dirty dishes is a sin. Far from it! There are always seasons of life that require it, in fact. The point is, we shouldn't even be asking ourselves whether or not our homes are too messy. We should be examining our heart and motives for why we do the things that we do (or don't do). 

So by all means, be authentic. Confess your sin to a trusted friend, and then repent.