Maundy Thursday and Good Friday… Why Bother?

Maundy Thursday 2Growing up in the Catholic Church I’m sure we attended on some of the days that are special according to the church calendar but I don’t recall. Then in my late teens I surrender my life to Christ Jesus and was part of an independent Christian Church that didn’t observe such days except for Easter and Christmas.

Fast forward three decades and for the last few years I’ve pastored a church that does participate in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services; and I’ve come to appreciate them very much.

Enduring a power outage gives you a new appreciation for electricity and all the comforts that come with it. And not surprisingly, the longer our gap of no power lasts, the greater our appreciation for it grows.

New depths of disappointment tend to be followed by new heights of joy.

In a similar way, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday develop in us a greater appreciation for Easter. They are opportunities for us to experience and contemplate some of what the disciples must have experienced with Jesus during His final hours …

  • Their excitement of gathering together for the Passover Meal, wondering if Jesus was about to take the throne and restore Israel to a state of independence…
  • Their uncertainty when Jesus led them to the garden to pray …
  • Their shock when Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested like a common criminal…
  • Their disbelief and utter horror as their teacher, the one they’d left everything to follow, was being tortured and nailed to a cross…

But then Sunday comes and with it the empty grave! How can we begin to describe the powerful emotions that must have swept over them with all that was going on?

Making time to participate in Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services helps to develop in us an even greater appreciation for Easter and the hope that was born again when Jesus conquered death!

Find some services at a church near you or locate some resources online to reflect on what took place so many years ago. And then celebrate Easter like never before!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Good Friday, Jesus, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Learn to Pray

Leran to Pray

Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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The Weekend Funnies – Calvin and Hobbes: low self-esteem

Originally posted on New Life:

One of the things I like about Bill Waterson’s comic strip Calvin and Hobbes is his incredible witty insight into human nature. Today’s comic is funny… because it’s so true! Is this a sad commentary on the world we’re living in today or what? And… do you know anyone like this?

Calvin & Hobbes - low self esteem and immediate gratification

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2014 Bill Waterson.

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Friday Funny! ;-) My birthday?

Toilet paper and cat in box

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Does archeology help or hinder trust in the Bible?

I’m not a big science buff but did find this article by Eric Metaxas of BreakPoint rather interesting. There is a link at the end of the article if you want to read more.
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Archaeological finds that claim to de-bunk the Bible are sure to make headlines. But what about all the other archaeological evidence?    

Recently, two researchers from Tel Aviv University made headlines when they claimed that the Bible’s historicity was undermined by, of all things, camel bones.

Eric Metaxas

Eric Metaxas

The camel bones in question were discovered in ancient copper mines south of the Dead Sea. After dating the bones to the tenth century before Christ, the researchers concluded that the stories of Abraham and other patriarchs possessing camels 1,000 years earlier could not have been true.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good headline? As Todd Bolen of the Master’s College told Christianity Today, their conclusion, based on a single finding, was definitely “an overreach.”

And Titus Kennedy of Biola pointed out that “a camel is mentioned in a list of domesticated animals from Ugarit, dating to the Old Babylonian period,” which ran from 1950-1600 BC, around the time of the biblical patriarchs.

Speaking of facts, in the latest issue of Biblical Archeology Review, Lawrence Mykytiuk of Purdue asks and answers the question “how many people in the Hebrew Bible have been confirmed archaeologically?’

The conservative answer is at least fifty.

The most famous of these is King David who, until relatively recently was believed by many scholars to either be a “shadowy, perhaps mythical ancestor” or a “literary creation of later biblical authors and editors.”

All of this changed, however, in 1993 when archaeologists found a stele dating from the ninth century B.C., commissioned by the king of Damascus with the inscription “House of David.” The issue of David’s historicity was laid to rest.

In addition to David, archeologists have been able to independently corroborate the existence of kings such as Hezekiah. The water tunnel he used during the Assyrian siege, described in both 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, has been discovered in Jerusalem.

Confirmation isn’t limited to those described as doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. Eight of the northern kingdom’s kings—including the notorious Ahab and Jeroboam II, whose reign was denounced by Hosea and Amos—have been verified archaeologically.

Nor is independent corroboration limited to the kings of Judah and Israel. The existence of numerous pagan kings mentioned in the Bible has been verified by archeologists. Some of them, such as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Cyrus the Great of Persia, are prominent figures in world history.

Others are not. Second Kings and Isaiah both mention Adrammelech, the son and murderer of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The Bible tells us he then fled and never took over as king. Cuneiform inscriptions confirm the biblical tale.

Even the Iron Age equivalents of middle-level bureaucrats mentioned in Scripture have been independently verified.

Make no bones about it: The Bible is easily the most verified book of antiquity—and not just its historical figures, but the copies of the manuscripts themselves. It’s not even close. For instance, the oldest surviving copies of works we have by Herodotus, Plato and even Homer only date back to the early middle ages—some 800 and 1,300 hundred years after they were written.

In contrast, as Frederick Kenyon of the British Museum put it, “the interval … between the dates of the original composition [of the New Testament] and the earliest extant evidence [is] so small as to be in fact negligible.”

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You can find other similar resources at the bottom of the article as it appeared on the BreakPoint Web site by clicking here.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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Breathless Expectation

Certain of God - Oswald Chambers

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Friday Funny! ;-) Hoodies!

Hoodies

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2014. All rights reserved.

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