April 1, 2012
by Rev. Carl J. Segerhammer
Springtime has come, and as we go out into nature, we receive on every hand evidences of a new life: the flowers and the trees with their sweet fragrance and fresh, exuberant verdure: the balmy breezes about you; the rippling brooklet at your feet; the music of the feathered concert overhead. All bear testimony, in a language without words, yet none the less forceful, that spring, the happiest season of the year, has come, and with it new life and new hopes.
But there is one thing we must not overlook in these our observations of nature, and that is the thankfulness for this new life that goes up from all these creatures of nature, animate and inanimate, to God, their Maker. We can read it in the sweet, blushing petals of the flower, the merry rippling of the brook, the early morning hymn of praise from the birds in the thicket. Again, when the hungry throat of the little nestling is filled by the mouthful of food the mother-bird brings, and the excited chirping at once ceases, and quite satisfaction takes its place, can we not again see a thanksgiving to Him who clothes the lilies of the field, and without whose will no sparrow falls to the earth?
Now, dear reader, there is a lesson to draw from this. You may be a young man or a young woman, and consequently in the springtime of your life. And as you have enjoyed to the fullest extent, during these balmy days, the beauties of nature, you have found your own being throbbing with new life, and you have been thrilled at the thought of that life’s possibilities.But have you stopped to ask yourself whether or not you, like all these creatures of nature, have returned thanks to your Maker for the new life, hopes and possibilities that are yours? says David. May that be the lesson that springtime brings us!
- Sunshine and Springtime (notyouraveragebirders.com)
- Springtime in Paris (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- Five Easter Crafts Involving Flowers (proflowers.com)
- Springtime In The Country (gibsongirl247.wordpress.com)
- Ryen’s Guide to Surviving Springtime (follow4biblestudy.com)
- Springtime Gaiety (ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com)
- Glorious Springtime (judythirion.wordpress.com)
April 1, 2012
“When my brothers and I were very small, our father took us just over the Texas boarder to a little Mexican village for a day trip. Dad had grown up in Chrystal City, Texas and he wanted us to see and do some of what he had experienced. We visited a little market and he purchased this small, carved donkey from marble for me. I have kept it ever since and if often finds its way on to our Easter dinner table.” Kathy Grimm
In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place about a week before his Resurrection.
According to the Gospels, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there lay down their cloaks in front of him, and also lay down small branches of trees. The people sang part of Psalms 118: 25–26 – … Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord ….
The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. Therefore, a king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Therefore, Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.
In many lands in the ancient Near East, it was customary to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor. The Hebrew Bible (2Kings 9:13) reports that Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, was treated this way. Both the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John report that people gave Jesus this form of honor. However, in the Synoptic Gospels they are only reported as laying their garments and cut rushes on the street, whereas John more specifically mentions palm fronds. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in Jewish tradition, and is treated in other parts of the Bible as such (e.g., Leviticus 23:40 and Revelation 7:9). Because of this, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path with them and their cloaks has become symbolic and important.
April 1, 2012
“Jesus Carries The Cross,” graphic by Kathy Grimm in two violet combinations for Lent.
April 1, 2012
by Rev. Carl J. Segerhammer
“And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save Jesus only.” Jesus had taken His three disciple, Peter, James, and John, with Him up on the Mount of Transfiguration, and there He had been glorified in their sight. “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.” Everything was so inspiring, so glorious. The disciples would gladly have remained there indefinitely, as we can draw from the words of the impulsive Peter; “Lord let us make here three tabernacles,” etc. But in a moment all the splendor had vanished. Moses and Elias were gone; the conditions of everyday life had returned, “and when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save Jesus only.” But was not that enough? Surely.
This incident from the life of Jesus and the disciples comes to our mind not because we have lately celebrated that day, the “Day of Transfiguration,” — that is still many weeks hence, — but because we have had lately in our church a season of more than ordinary significance — the Iowa Conference Convention. May we not say that those days were to us as a season of transfiguration? Who among us did not feel as though he were looking upon life, not as usual, form the vale of toilsome everyday experiences, but from the lofty summit of the Mount of Transfiguration? Did we not see our dear Savior glorified? For in the many beautiful sermons and addresses to which we listened, He was presented to us in all His glory and power, in all His love and mercy. There were also the “servants of God” “talking with Him” and of Him. How beautiful! How inspiring! But, alas, soon was the splendor vanished; the servants of God, whose fellowship we had enjoyed for a time, had gone, “and when we had lifted up our eyes, we saw no man save Jesus only.” That, dear reader, is at least our earnest hope and prayer. God grant that it may be said of each and every one of us, now that the convention, that season of refreshing, is over, as it was said of the disciples when the hour of transfiguration was past: “They was no man save Jesus only.” They saw Him. He was still with them, their Comforter, their all. May it be so with us! May His image have been implanted in our hearts, His Spirit in our soul! Then we have need of nothing more, for as Asaph says: “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”