Archive for the ‘easter’ Category

Drinking from the Cup – Which Cup?

April 5, 2009

I’ve been listening to The Beautiful Girls lately, an Aussie band, and one of my favourite songs of theirs is ‘Bring Me Your Cup’ which is actually a cover of a UB40 song. It’s a cheery little song talking about sharing a drink with a friend who cares a lot but has never actually stated how he feels about the woman he is sharing a drink with. The lyrics go like this:  

Did I ever say, how I feel about you
I think I never found that easy to do
The things that you do, don't need to be heard
You know your actions, girl, speak louder than words

(CHORUS)

I've got the bottle, bring me your cup
Pop the cork, and try a sup
And when you're empty, I'll fill you up
We'll drink it down till the sun comes up

I'm heading home, like a steaming train
Foot to the floor, in the driving rain
My head is aching and my mouth is dry 
I've got a thirst only you can satisfy

And I love the song! It speaks of a close relationship between two people in which their love is shared and known  through their actions. It’s beautiful. 

But I’ve been reading about another cup lately too. One that has also been downed in love by one whose actions speak directly to my heart, loudly but also with words. 

This morning I read in Jeremiah 25 that every nation of the world is to drink of the cup of God’s wrath: 

15Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”

This is particularly terrifying because to drink from God’s cup means to be judged and after years of being reminded to turn back to God, God then says this judgement is to come to everyone. You can read about it in Jeremiah 25.

At this time of the year in our approach to Easter, I am reminded of how Jesus really understood the terror involved in drinking God’s cup. For in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before Jesus was to be crucified he prayed, through bloodied tears and sweat, 

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

And he prayed this prayer – that he would not have to drink from God’s cup – THREE times that night. Three times! He truly must have known the torment associated with drinking the cup of the wrath of God. But he did it. Knowingly, Jesus drank. And he experienced the consequences when he cried out on the cross just before he died, 

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

For Christ, drinking God’s cup meant taking on the wrath of God that was due to the WHOLE WORLD because we have ignored God and tried to do things our own way. Jesus drank from that cup and was cut off from God, like we should have been. Instead of us. It’s amazing.  It’s incredible. Now, because Jesus drank from this cup, we don’t have to! Because he took the judgement of God for the world, we don’t have to! Because he rose from death, so can we! It’s amazing! 

So I was thinking, The Beautiful Girls song ‘Bring Me Your Cup’ kinda reflects, in a small way, the relationship we can now have with God. God has shown us how He feels about us through Christ. He has spoken clearly, with actions and words. At the cross we see how God feels about us ignoring him and doing things our own way – He hates it! And it deserves punishment! Severe punishment!! – but He loves us and takes that punishment himself so we never have to experience the judgement that separates us from Him. God has made it very clear how He feels about us.

God has filled the cup and passed it to Jesus, He drank, took the consequences and through obedience came through having won a way free of judgement for us – if we acknowledge that Jesus took the punishment that was really due to us! Thank God! And now Jesus offers to fill our cup with water from the spring of life, not judgement but life,

6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life…” (Revelation 21:6&7

And you know that just makes me feel like “heading home, like a steaming train, Foot to the floor in the driving rain, [because] my head is aching and my mouth is dry, I’ve got a thirst that only [Christ] can satisfy.”

But Revelation shows us that if we don’t take the cup Christ offers us, we must still drink the cup of the wrath of God…for if we don’t accept that Christ has drunk it for us, then we’re left to drink it for ourselves.

I thank God I’m drinking from the cup of life this Easter and forever.

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March 23, 2008

The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems forgiven I’m alive, restored set free.Your majesty resides inside of me,forever I believe. forever I believe.arrested by your truth and righteousnessyour grace has overwhelmed my brokennessconvicted by your spirit, led by your wordyour love will never fail your love will never fail‘Cause I know you gave, the world your only son for usto know your name, to live within the saviour’s loveand he took my place, knowing he’d be crucifiedand you loved.. you loved, a people undeserving!  

the holiday

April 16, 2007

So, I’m back and the holiday was great!dscn6447.jpg

Looking down on to Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head, NSW

We went to Lennox Head, 15 minutes drive south of Byron Bay, on the far North Coast of NSW for 5 days – see map here. Actually, as it took us a whole and I mean whole day to drive there and another whole day – not as whole as the first but whole nevertheless – to drive back, we were really only there for three days. But we had a lot of fun in those three days.

The first thing my little boys wanted to do when we got there – after sleep since we got in at 12:30 am – was go to the beach. So, off we went. We stayed in units across the road from the beach so all we had to do was cross the road, walk down a little path and there we were. The beach was beautiful. Rough and a little bit deadly to swim in – you’d get in and a massive undertow would drag you 20 metres down the beach before you’d even caught your first wave – but beautiful in all its treachery- you can view the beach through a webcam here, follow the link and choose your vision format. The water was so warm and the salt was refreshing. The sand was beautifully soft and fine after being pummelled for so many years by the merciless sea. Broken shells, jellyfish and a few smooth pebbles decoratively littered the shoreline.

As we arrived on the beach the fresh sea breeze kissed our faces like an old friend we hadn’t seen for too long and the waves rushed up to meet us. Exhilarated, we ran to the sea discarding towels as we went and plunged into the gorgeous glistening ocean.

The first swim at a beach is special. It’s bonding. We fell in love with this beach instantly. The fact that it was so close to our accommodation made it ours alone – despite the presence of others on the beach.

We arose for early swims each morning and usually left the beach at about 9:30 am just as the wind was picking up and the lifeguards were deciding to close the beach after witnessing the sea tear a board away from yet another small child being swept down the beach faster than they deemed safe. It was good to get up and swim before the sea got too rough. We’d usually go back and eat another breakfast – because you have to eat something before you swim but nothing too heavy, just a snack – as we were starved by the paddling, ducking, diving and walking.

I liked this routine as it left us a lot of time to do other things later in the day, like: exploring the gourmet shops for tasty morsels to whip into a delectable dinner or lunch, or visit nearby Byron Bay with it’s beautiful beaches, forests, lighthouses and town life.

Byron is really so incredibly gorgeous. Cape Byron is the Eastern most point of Australia. You are almost guaranteed of seeing dolphins there and after being at the Lighthouse for no more than five minutes we spotted two pods of dolphins swimming off the coast below. There were over ten dolphins in all. And of course we felt like they were swimming there just for us because dolphins do that, you know. They were beautiful!

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Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, April 2007

We went away with two great friends who were complete gentlemen the whole time and showed great kindness and care towards me and my boys. They played endless games – like ‘chase me with your water pistol while I run away on the scooter’- which they enjoyed as much as my little men did – and dino-opoly, actually the adults played that from 10:05 to 2:30 am – yes, we’re nuts! – after the chiluns had gone to sleep; chatted about all sorts of things; understood the needs of my children; swam with the boys; played beach cricket; carried the littlest when his little legs could carry him no further; told them stories and gave them their first campfire complete with feats of fire twirling and marshmallow toasting!

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They drove us the very, very long way there and back and after all of that gave us the incredible gift of paying for our accommodation! A gift I am still completely blown away by and in all its generosity struggle to accept. I am not good at accepting gifts – I wish I were. I think God is teaching me to be humble and say “thank you”. I am thankful that I have such beautiful friends who always act as they believe God would want them to and in doing so encourage me to do the same. I am a very blessed woman.

A not-so-traditional but no less powerful Easter Sunday Greeting

April 8, 2007

Some friends of my family tell this story about an Easter Sunday in their house when my friends were young. It’s a great story that I don’t think they’d mind me sharing.

On the Saturday night before Easter Sunday this father was putting his two boys, aged three and eight, to bed. As he was doing so he was explaining to them about a great tradition Christians all over the world share. The father explained that on the morning of Easter Sunday, Christans all over the world would be using a special greeting. They would say to each other,

“He is Risen!”

to which the reply would come,

“He is Risen indeed!”

The father of these little boys explained that as this was a good tradition that reminds us of the good news of Jesus coming to life again, he would like them to remember to respond to his greeting in this manner in the morning. So, they practiced. The father said “He is Risen!” and the boys replied “He is Risen indeed!” And they said this a few times with great enthusiasm and sincerity.

The next morning the boys woke early and rushed into their parents room. As planned, their father greeted them with the traditional Easter Sunday greeting, “He is Risen!” to which Mr Three replied “Hallelujah, Baby!”

Hallelujah indeed!