Category Archives: Reign of Christ

An Amazing Thing Happened On The Way To Our Son’s Grave

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Funny thing about rainbows, they’re actually circles, not half-arcs. Obviously they look like arches to us because of our limited perspective, seeing only half the story because the horizon kind of gets in the way.

My lovely spotted the colorful band stretched over the cemetery where our son’s body was laid to rest last Christmas as we made our approach. It was our thirty-first wedding anniversary and we wanted to share our celebration with our boy. Sandy often wants me to drive the long way around Mozley Gardens to pay respects to any of Graham’s new “neighbors” before we park at his marker, so I was poking along scanning the lawns out my driver’s side window when I heard her exclaim:

“Oh honey, look!”

I followed her graceful index finger as it stretched toward the windshield.

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A bow of beauty.

The Sovereign had kissed our evening by finger-painting a swath of grace over our Gra-Gra.

Well, that’s all she wrote. We were undone. Verklempt. A wet mess.

In a good way.

“I know about the promise of God to not destroy the earth with floods,” my bride offered, “but what else do you think God is saying?”

I was already in that vein, the Bible teacher in me calling up the Revelator’s vision of God on His throne in His abode of heaven. Verse three says “around the throne” was a rainbow and a quick study suggests it’s a full circle, as rainbows tend to be.

A perfect circle.

No beginning, no end. No pause, no break. No altered course, but fulfillment and wholeness.

Eternality.

God said, “look up.”

We lifted our watery eyes.

“See My initials in sweeping, color-laden script?”

We indeed saw the stamp of Resurrection.

The “all things new” seal of Certainty.

We’re two still-grieving parents encased in the drama of loss, sighing at the memories and could-have-beens, making our repeated pilgrimage to the sacred stone…

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BUT WE’RE

…gently carried all the while (yet again!) by everlasting Arms that scaffold our temporal home with rainbows to remind us

that Eternity awaits,

that these eyes only see half the picture,

that the Best is yet to be,

that the grace that pavilions us in these years of dust and ash,

will give way to Endless Dawn, forever illuminated by the Sun and Daystar of our souls, Jesus the Christ and Father of Lights.

That rainbow reminded us that His exhaustive archives of eternity and our place (and Graham’s!!!) in the Eternal Story is not a half-arc (half done), but a complete arc, and – my beloved fellow pilgrim – let it serve to tell you that God wastes none of your raw materials in preparing you for His Glory. All of it goes into the flourish of His finishing touches.

Just look up.

It’s there to remind you.

Counterfeit Grace

Just felt I should share what I posted on Twitter today.

It needs to be said.

@Pasturescott: Be wary of those who are all about grace and not accountability. They haven’t received a revelation of God’s brand, only a cheap knock-off.

This addresses one of the more subtle deceptions snaking through the church in these last days. Shamefully, multitudes are drinking the purple kool-aid because it goes down smoothly and appeals to old Adam’s proclivities.

If we believers are not still accountable to God, then we’re right back in the Garden, fruit in hand, feeling good about ourselves and our chances.

Hashtag: “God have mercy!”

This has happened because, for generations now, the Gospel has been tampered with, tweaked, muddied and dumbed down. It’s been reduced to a formulaic cover-all prayer and a me-centered narrative rather than a lifelong grace-empowered surrender that forsakes all – even our own self – but Jesus.

On a related note, when I fail to forsake my own way and know that I’ve grieved the Holy Spirit, I take to heart the blessed truth of 1 John 1:9 – which is graciously for me! – and repent to Him, find mercy even for my egregious oversights, and fall ever more deeply in love with God who saves, keeps and covers me. And changes me. With genuine grace.

Now I can get into and embrace that brand of grace!

Curses! He’s King! (a PG-13 apologetic for the Resurrection)

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law BY BECOMING A CURSE FOR US."
- Galatians 3:13

I settled a long time ago the matter of Christ’s resurrection from absolute death. I’m so convinced that King Jesus is alive forevermore that I don’t really need any more proof, but I did take note of a sideways or backhanded confirmation the other day. Maybe it was upside down. Or catawampus.

It was, nonetheless profanely convincing.

I was at the theater, cozied in for a Disney-produced movie, mind you, and as I settled in and got lost in the narrative, my reverie was suddenly capsized by the main character’s graphic expletive.

“Jesus Christ!”

There was no middle initial, so I knew the actor was cursing the one and only Jesus Christ of heaven, with whom his character obviously had an issue.

A few moments later, he cussed Him again.

That’s it. That’s all the evidence I need. I know that Jesus is not long-buried in some Middle Eastern grave somewhere. Otherwise, Hollywood wouldn’t give Him the time of day much less all the free advertisement.

Off-track Question: should Hollywood have to pay royalties to Jesus for each reference to Him…or is He public domain? Oh yeah, just remembered: they’ll each pay retribution when they have to face Him on the Day of Reckoning and the books are opened…

Back to the point: Sure we have the scriptural record that testifies to His risenness, the historical record, the testimonies of numerous reliable witnesses, and bookoos of forensic evidence, but I submit into evidence ‘Exhibit E': the incessant and pervasive taking of our Lord’s Name in vain in every culture, every language, and in every era of human history since He left His footprint on planet earth.

You never hear anyone cursing Buddha or Mohammed or Santa or the Easter Bunny. Have you ever heard “MLK!” or “Mary Baker Eddy!” or “Joseph H. Smith!”? To get that much (sole) attention, Jesus, the Christ of God has got to be a credible, indelible contemporary influence. And with all that cussing and derision…

…how could He be out of sight and gone from public purview?

How, do tell, could He be gone from the context of our lives if He’s dead and buried? Every time someone shouts an invective built around that Blessed Name, I just hang on it the truth that my Jesus is alive and well.

And, conversely, since there’s no censuring of those other guys and gals, I know they’re cold dead. Unless they’re with Jesus, that is. If they’re not, then they’re hot dead. Only Santa and the E.B. get a pass.

Just like today, 2000 years ago angry people shook their fists at Innocence Himself and cursed Him. They wanted Him out of their lives for good. Their insults took on moisture as they spat upon His Holiness. Then they cussed Him some more.

Within hours His lifeless body was BOUND in grave clothes, SEALED behind a rock that weighed a ton, and GUARDED by soldiers who were trained to keep watch. Presumably, they were there to keep others out, and, just in case, to keep the dead Rabbi in.

Enter lightning, thunder and an earthquake. A moved stone. An empty tomb. A humiliated satan. A worshipping woman. Puzzled disciples. An angry prefect. Horrified Sadducees. An ascended Lord. A poured-out Spirit. A Church triumphant. A Coming King.

And you still want to curse Him?

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