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Grace & Truth

April 20, 2011
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47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?”
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Matthew 26:47-56 NKJV

Last night I attended an evening service in honor of Holy Week, the week beginning with Palm Sunday and leading up until Easter Sunday, the Resurrection Day. Yesterday’s service was particularly special to me because of the cross-cultural global focus our service maintained. We heard about the spreading of the Gospel occurring in India, Nigeria (!), Saudia Arabia, Turkey, and many more traditionally non-Christian countries. There were three pastors present for our service, one from Mexico, the other from Italy, and the last from Texas. I consider myself to be of no one denomination, but anchor my beliefs in catholic, episcopalian, and pentecostal teachings. I don’t like feeling like there is such a thing as a ‘white’ church, a ‘spanish’ church or even a ‘black’ church. To me, the body of Christ is all-inclusive, all-encompassing, and leaves little room for cultural division. Last night’s message on the betrayal of Jesus at Gethsemane made me reflect on the character of Jesus up until His death. Even in this time of betrayal, in the moments He knew the physical effects each action would have, Jesus showed us how to be graceful in acknowledging the presence of a person who came to cause Him harm, and the strength and ability to speak truth into an unfortunate yet necessary situation. Jesus had the power to call the person who was to harm Him his friend. Jesus shows us that the very Judas’ who have become the cultural representations of ‘snitching’ and ‘haters” are the very figures who should push us harder to pray, harder to fight for that which we want in our lives, and closer into a relationship with God. At the same time, it was Jesus’ friend who drew out his sword to defend Him. Sometimes our friends will actually try to push us away from fighting for or doing things that will be tough, because they do not want to see us in pain and hurting, but it is the pain we go through that shows us just how tough we can be. I love this passage because it reminds me that there will be times I have to fight hard, and loose, in order to win in the overall thing called my life, and I’ll choose to do it with truth, and gracefully.

♥ Chinye

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2011 10:32 pm

    Hi!

    I’ve been reading through some of your previous posts and just wanted to say you have a really great blog – I’m glad you left a comment on mine and glad to have found yours. It seems we have some things in common – for example, the need to do something different…I read your post on your desire to go to Nigeria for school and to work/volunteer and I think that is wonderful. I had similar feelings…..and I’m now volunteering in India for a year! So yes, sometimes we get these urges and we have to follow our heart. I’m hoping that if it’s what you want and what’s meant for you that everything will work out for the best and come May you’ll have some good news to share!

    Oh and congrats on running that marathon! Black girls DO run – not me…my sister though lol. And if I had a blender here in Delhi I’d be trying one of your shakes…I heart spinach!

    Happy Easter.

    • April 29, 2011 11:47 am

      Hi Kay! It’s so true that when we get these urges, we just have to follow our hearts until we get that which we want. I am happy to say that the ball is rolling, and I can say with 90% confidence I will be going. Each day I get anxious waiting for things to fall into place, it’s such a weird feeling! I’m planning on another blog update soon on my path to Nigeria. And yay for your sister! I really do love running and get super excited when other people are runners too lol

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