Saturday, April 3

Looking For God?

Deb Cantrell

This narrative in the Bible has always been one of my favorites.  So much so, I wrote a play and included Mary Magdalene’s perspective as she travels to the tomb and her reaction when she and the other women arrive.  It is a compilation of all the Gospels.  Although, scripture does not include all the details, I did intensive research and determined what might have happened to Mary that day.  This is something akin to a Jewish midrash.  A midrash is a interpretation or commentary on a Biblical text exploring what might have happened in various Bible narratives.  

This would be my version of such writing.  The play is titled The Color of Touch.

Mary Magdalene as she recounts her experiences the morning after Jesus’ resurrection:

It was such a difficult time for me— for all of us.  When they took him down from the cross, it was nearing the Sabbath; so we had very little time to prepare Jesus for burial.  But, with the help of others, we lovingly and gently prepared him and wrapped his body and placed him in a tomb.  The men that were close by rolled the stone in front the opening.  There was a loud thud as the stone found a resting place.  The sound hit my chest with such force that I thought it would crush my heart.  It was so difficult to leave.  But the Sabbath was near and it was not safe for us to stay.  After the Sabbath, I went with some of the other women and returned to the place where we had left our precious Lord.  But the stone had been moved and when we looked inside, we saw two men dressed in brilliant white robes.  They said to me, "Woman, why are you weeping?"  I told them, “They have taken him away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid him.”  I turned around and saw a gardener standing there.  And he asked me why I was weeping and who was I looking for.  I said, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will care for him.”  Then he said, "Mary!"  There was something so familiar about his voice.  Then I knew!  It was Jesus!  I fell to my knees and wept with joy.  I reached out and touched his foot and, just above the straps of His sandals, I saw the marks left by the nail.  His skin was warm and I thought I felt the blood pulsing in his veins.  Then suddenly he pulled back and told me not to hold on to him, as he had not yet ascended to the Father. He told me to tell the disciples that he was ascending to His Father and your Father, to His God and your God.  I trusted in His words and I went and told them, “I have seen the Lord!  He’s not dead!  He lives!”

Indeed He Lives!!  We look to the Lenten season with joy and anticipation knowing that through the sacrifice of Christ and God’s grace, we can come to know the full glory of his un-ending love.

PRAYER: Lord, we have looked to the Lenten season with joy and anticipation knowing that through the sacrifice of Christ and God's grace, we can come to know the full glory of your unending love.

Friday, April 2

Never Betrayed

Kat Hanna

You know those times when you do something you think is a horrible thing? When you hurt your siblings or screw up something or mess up your brother’s room? Sometimes, when I do these things (sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose), I run up to my room. When my dad asks about who did this or who did that, I am the first to say, “I didn’t!”, even though sometimes I do. I deny everything. Peter denies Jesus, too. It’s like he’s denying a mistake. When I find out that it wasn’t really a horrible thing, or when my dad forgives me, it’s like being redeemed. When we fled and denied our God, he sent his Son to redeem us. He’s like our dad, forgiving us for something we have done.

PRAYER:  Dear God, thanks you for sacrificing your son to redeem us, and free us of our sin. Amen. 

Thursday, April 1

Join In The Banquet

Kendall Raymond

I think that these verses are very profound. In his story, Jesus talks about seeds, but I believe that each seed was one person, and when we are sown, we are born. Some of us are born into a community or family that helps us grow in Christ, just like some seeds are sown on good soil. Yet others are born in places that work against Christ, and they are gobbled up by sin, just like some seeds are thrown on the path and eaten by birds. Some are born in places where they can try to learn about Christ, but since no one is supporting them, their interest withers away. These people fall on the rocks and thorns. This story rings out in truth. Now, many more people are being eaten by sin now than when Jesus was on the Earth because we have idols like i-Pods and computers, and we are putting those in front of the Lord.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, Please help me not be eaten by sin. Help those who are born in places that teach them wrong. Let me not put idols before you. Amen

Wednesday, March 31

A Bitter Cup

Tammy Fimger

When Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, it changed both Jesus’ life, as well as, mankind’s.  Jesus knew God, His Father, had set into motion His death and resurrection with Judas’s betrayal, fulfilling written prophesies.

The chief priest gave Judas twenty pieces of silver to betray Jesus and Judas looked for an opportunity.  During the Passover meal, Jesus said one of them would betray Him.  The disciples became very distressed and one after the other asked if it was them.  Jesus let Judas know he was the one and admonished him for being born. 

I have experienced betrayals.  They seem smaller and more insignificant when I compare them to Jesus’.  I struggled and suffered and gave them to God.  With His help, I found comfort and a way to forgive and to move forward. 

Our world is full of daily betrayals.  People lie, cheat, steal, and gossip and turn their backs on old friends; the Ten Commandments are not followed.  Bernie Madoff, Wall Street bankers, mortgage lenders, and politicians, as well as, earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis are all examples of recent betrayals of our trust.

We must trust in Jesus, forgive those who betray us and know He is there with us.

PRAYER:  Dear God, help us to put our trust in you knowing your son, Jesus, died for our sins and promises everlasting life with you.  Thank you for loving us!

Tuesday, March 30

Contrite Hearts

John Zmuda

This passage talks about Jesus’ warnings.  It shows how even though he gave people, his disciples, warnings, they still did not listen to him and ended up betraying him.  Peter ended up betraying him three times.  This resembles society now because even though we are given warnings, we choose to go against them and betray people.  It’s like lying or breaking a promise.  People say that they will do something for someone else, but yet they still manage to break that promise and not do anything.  Everyone knows how bad they feel when they are promised something but the person never fulfills that promise, I know I do.  I have also been on the side where I did not fulfill that promise, and let me tell you, when I think about it real hard, I regret it.  Just like Jesus promised to die for the forgiveness of our sins, we as a society need to look at that and fulfill the little but many promises we make in our lives. We must strive to not be like Peter, who did not fulfill his promise to Jesus, and betrayed him in the process.

PRAYER: Dear God, we ask that you guide us through the bumps and curves that life gives us, that we may fulfill the promises of life; big or small, few or many. We ask that you help us make good decisions for ourselves, and that we look at the warnings in life, so that we know where the dangers are and where to go on the path of righteousness. In your name we pray. Amen.  

Monday, March 29


Steve Wilson

So much of the world around us can make us anxious or even fearful.   Fear of sickness, earth, financial loss, general insecurities, etc.   Fear and anxiety can become so encompassing that it affects how we approach the day and our zest for living.   Has it happened to us at different times?  Has it happened to family or friends?   The line always stuck with me in the movie Field of Dreams when the character played by Kevin Costner describes a vision of his Father “before he was beaten down by life”.   But is it life that beats you down or is it fear?   This Psalm reinforces that we can conquer fear by focusing on the Lord and his goodness and Christ’s glorious message of salvation.    Faith in the Lord makes Christians courageous optimists, whose outlook on life from verse 14 is to “be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

PRAYER :Lord, you are our stronghold and salvation.  We lose our way when we forget that and focus on other things….and we become fearful.  You give us strength to rejoice in each day and the courage and hope -- no matter what -- to take on the future.  

Sunday, March 28

Palm Sunday

Nick Hawkins 

To me, the purpose of the book of Philippians was to serve as an example of true humility to the people of Philippi. This is so they would not strive with one another, but instead look to the needs of one another (Philippians 2: 1-4). An example of this was when Adam tried to seize equality with God, but Christ did not consider seizing equality with God. Instead, Christ emptied himself to be like a servant, dedicating his life to God even to the point of death. For this reason, God exalted him. What we must do, is to show our loyalty and respect to God, and not try to gain equality from him. Christ Jesus acted as a servant even to the point of death to earn God’s respect. My Grandmother recently passed. She was a very kind woman who always gave of herself. As presented in this passage, she made herself the servant. She battled all her life with heart disease and was a heart transplant recipient. Even thought she was dying of cancer, she told her children to be tough and stay strong. She was always thinking of others. I’d like to think that she knew that God gives us hope in a new life.

PRAYER: “Dear God, we ask that you help us to become a servant like Jesus. Please help us so that one day we may live with you as you give us hope in a new life. Amen.”