“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

~Lao-Tzu
Here is this week's Reflection. I hope you enjoy reading it and that you will share it with your friends and family. Holy Week will not be an easy time as it will focus on the terrible suffering that Jesus endured. He did that for us. A sobering thought. Have a good week, everyone. Try to get to one of the Holy Week services at your church. Next Sunday we will celebrate Jesus' victory over death!

Love,
Cathy

REFLECTION FOR PALM SUNDAY 2014

By Cathy Goretsky

This is Holy Week; a time to focus on the series of events that led to Jesus’ crucifixion. We have to go back a bit and re-read some of the stories that detail the miracles that He performed. The most recent one that we heard about was the day that Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, raising him from the dead. Lazarus had been in that tomb for a few days and during that time the Bible tells us that many Jews had come to the home of Mary and Martha to comfort them and to mourn with them. Then Jesus arrives and after a conversation with His friends, He calls their brother, Lazarus, back from the dead. At each of the times when Jesus accomplished what seemed impossible; curing the lame, the blind, the lepers, feeding thousands with only a few fish and several loaves of bread, there were those witnesses who became believers, but there were always a few who felt that He was a danger and needed to be stopped.

Reading the story of Jesus raising Lazarus, I thought about what must have been in Jesus’ mind as He called Lazarus forth from the tomb. Jesus had to be aware that there would be people in the crowd there at the home of His friends who would report back to the Pharisees about what they had seen Jesus do. He knew the consequences of His choices, and He did not hesitate to do what He knew His Father had sent Him here to do.

Thinking of the consequences of our own actions, we must be brave enough to acknowledge how we behave in circumstances where we know our choices will have consequences. Of course we are not planning on performing any miracles, but we certainly will find ourselves at a place where we have to make a choice about whether to say something or choose to be silent. Will we choose silence or will we speak up?

A few years ago, the Christian bookstores were selling small bracelets with the letters W.W.J.D. imprinted on them. I often bought them and gave them to the boys at the juvenile detention center where I volunteered. I would explain to them that the bracelet was a reminder in those times of making choices to think about what Jesus would do in that circumstance. These were teen-age boys who had already made choices that resulted in their becoming involved in the justice system. During our Bible Study time, I would tell them stories about the various situations that Jesus found Himself in, and the choices that He made. We often had conversations about some of the potential situations that they might encounter once they were released and back home in their neighborhoods.

Maybe we could use that same question to help us make choices. Not just for Holy Week, but for the time beyond Easter, why not write those letters on an index card and keep it somewhere as a reminder that Jesus is the model when it comes to deciding how to act. Doing the right thing even when you know it may result in criticism is not easy and knowing that Jesus is our model we can be strong.
Remember that God has a message for us; a message from as far back as the Old Testament in Isaiah, Chapter 43. God speaks to us: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you…..” We might think that God didn’t mean this promise for us, but just for the ancient people of the time when it was written. If you think that, ask yourself the question, “Why would God cause His words to be written down and studied for thousands of years if they were not meant for all people in all times? When you focus on those words, God’s very strong message is that He knows each one of us by name, right down through the years to today. He has “called us by name”. He even tells us that we belong to Him, saying “You are mine.” A few weeks ago in one of the Reflections, I quoted another verse from Isaiah and it’s worth focusing on during this week as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ victory over death itself. Isaiah 41: 13-14 “For I, the Lord, your God, hold your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Hold that thought when you come to a place where the choice is a difficult one.

AMEN
4/12/14
cgoretsky@bellsouth.net

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