Michael Card on ‘Mystery’

some good thoughts from singer/songwriter Michael Card-

From “In The Studio with Michael Card”

Mysteries

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my
ways,” declares the Lord.

|| Isaiah 55:8 || NLT ||

I used to think that mysteries existed only to be solved. When I
heard someone refer to the mystery of Christ, I assumed that Christ
was a mystery only to nonbelievers. I have since learned that the
mystery of Christ is reserved for those who do believe. To “know” the
mystery of Christ is to realize that it is indeed just that, a
mystery.

To represent faith in Jesus merely as something we come to
understand and accept is to rob it of the mystery of being in
relationship with something infinitely bigger and wiser than we are.
His ways are not our ways, the prophet Isaiah tells us.

Mystery is not a category only for the spiritually elite, secret
knowledge reserved for the members of the deeper life club. The
mysteries of faith in Christ are for everyone who claims to be in
relationship with him. The basic trusth of Christianity are
mysteries, not understandable, not “our ways”: the virgin birth of
Jesus, the Trinity, grace, prayer, the union of the believer with
Christ, the cross, and perhaps most mysterious, and key to them all,
the incarnation

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Tá Críosd ar éirigh! Go deimhin, tá e ar ÃƒÂ©irigh!

rez
Tá Críosd ar éirigh! Go deimhin, tá e ar éirigh!
(Christ is risen! Indeed, He is risen!)

1 Corinthians 16:20

And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died!

monday’s lent reading

serving ray of hope
Phillipians 2:5-11 (message)

5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient deathâ€â€?and the worst kind of death at thatâ€â€?a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth�even those long ago dead and buried�will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

these verses strike a place right at the heart for me. maybe it’s the reality of the fact that most of the time I am busy serving myself and my own needs, and when i read this, i become painfully aware of it. Or, maybe it is the stark reality that the Creator of everything, laid it all down to become the flesh we know as Jesus, all for our sake. When I read this, I am somewhat overwhelmed with the battle that I am constantly in with my self. This is a powerful enemy, and our other enemy, the devil, just plays off of those natural self-seeking desires that lie withing these chains made of flesh. It’s easy to NOT think of others first, and then serve ME! I see this as possibly our biggest problem, our focus on us and not on others. I heard a great quote this weekend at the ‘missional matrix’ conference which stuck to me and I absolutely believe it to be true. Rose Swetman said, “We will find some real and true healing from our own hurt and pain in the helping and service of others” I know this to be true for myself that when I have been about others and less about myself, I am refreshed and renewed and I feel much closer to my Creator. I will leave you all with this quote from Bono in a recent Time magazine article he wrote (that I discovered from matt’s blog…very timely!) and a link to the full article:

“There’s an Irish word, meitheal. It means that the people of the village help one another out most when the work is the hardest. Most Europeans are like that. As individual nations, we may argue over the garden fence, but when a neighbor’s house goes up in flames, we pull together and put out the fire. History suggests it sometimes takes an emergency for us to draw closer. Looking inward won’t cut it. As a professional navel gazer, I recommend against that form of therapy for anything other than songwriting. We discover who we are in service to one another, not the self.” – Bono

here is the rest