Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Magnificent +

    Few songs capture the entrancing, humbling, overwhelming awe I experience in the presence of God. Magnificent, a song by U2 Read More
  • I'll Go Crazy +

    I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight Every generation gets a chance to change the world - U2 Read More
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Cooleys_Camera_147In a few days we will be celebrating Easter.  Happy Easter to allof you. Christ has risen!  Truly he has risen!

As I reflect back over past Easters my heart is stirred and mymind recalls quite a few images and impressions that leftindelible marks upon my heart.  I grew up going to a GreekOrthodox Church and Easter was the biggest celebration in thechurch.  For my family growing up, we practiced Lent.  As kids Iremember wondering why we couldn't eat this or that and yet wefollowed the rules.

I remember one weekend during the season of Lent we weredriving to my grandparents' house and we stopped at a littlecafé.  It was breakfast time and my mom ordered and we haddry toast and orange juice because we gave up meat and dairyproducts.  I don't even know why we gave up those things but tothis day I appreciate the times we did without. Giving somethingup stirs your heart to be grateful for all you have.  I alsoremember one Easter when I was in the 2nd or 3rd gradeour priest during the service carried out the cross and wasweeping (which in the Orthodox Church is similar to a passionplay).  It was so sincere and so heartfelt that it made me realizethe cost of Jesus' sacrifice.  After a long evening, which carriedinto the new day, (yes I mean we were in church til 1:00 a.m.)we had a huge celebration in honor of the resurrection ofChrist.   As kids we were so excited about all the food.  It was awonderful time of community and a time of thankfulness.  Thankyou Lord for your great love for each of us!

When we traveled to Israel/Palestine last summer I was soimpacted at the Garden of Gethsemane.  Today, it is a smallfenced off area for tourists to see. However, there are olivetrees that are quite large with a wide gnarled trunk which youcould imagine were there at the time of Christ.  Our guide saidsomething that I had never heard before and it traveled deepinto my heart...

He said that Gethsemane means olive press.  With this newthought I had a greater sense of the agony Christ endured in theGarden.  Imagine olives poured into a vat, pit and all, and ahuge millstone going around and crushing everything into a finepulp.  It helped me understand why Jesus cried out and causedhim to sweat blood. (Luke 22:44)  With this deeperunderstanding I feel like I have a greater appreciation for thelove and sacrifice of Jesus.

Last summer when we were there as a family, I had our friend,Joe, who was traveling with us, film a working olive press, andthe tour guide gave a brief description of the meaning. I prayyou are impacted and that you would know how MUCH Godloves you.

Again I say, Christ has risen!  Truly he has risen!

With love,
Chris

http://www.carlmedearis.com/blog/2011/04/happy-easter/sunset_good

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • River of Love

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Wilberforce, Hollywood's Amazing Grace, Charlotte Allen +

    William Wilberforce's relentless campaign eventually led the British Parliament to ban the slave trade, in 1807, and to pass a Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
  • The True Nature of Grace and Love: a movie review of the Soloist +

    The 2009 movie The Soloist is based on a book by the same name, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Read More
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