The Stone Was Rolled For Us

Here is an interesting thought that was brought up in my small group last night. We just finished reading through the Gospel of Mark and we were pondering the last chapter about the resurrection of Jesus. Someone brought up the point that "the Marys" (Magdalene and Mother) prepared all the spices for Jesus' body and on the way to the tomb they thought "Who is going to move the stone in front of the tomb for us?" It is interesting that they didn't think of this before leaving for the tomb and bring along some of the big strong disciples to help. However, when they got to the tomb we all know what they found - the stone had been rolled away! Now, in this situation one of two things happened, either these women were bad planners and a bit dull or they had great faith. A great faith that God would roll the stone away for them. Honestly, I think they were just under prepared. But, God wasn't...

I think it is neat that the writers of all the gospels included the fact that the stone had been rolled away and in Mark it even notes the conversation between the women of "Who will roll the stone?" Why didn't they just say that the women got to the tomb and it was empty, why is that small part about the stone moving so important. Obviously, God did not remove the stone for his own good. The resurrected Jesus could walk through walls and didn't need the stone moved for him to bust outta the grave. God rolled the stone away for us. He rolled the stone away to clear the obstacle for the Marys. He rolled the stone that we could easily know the the Son of God was raised from the dead. He rolled the stone away so that we could see. He rolled the stone away because he loved us.


Taste and See

Psalms 34:8 is one of my favorite passages. The NIV translation reads "Taste and See that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

I think the reason that this one of my favorite verses is the use of the verbs taste and see. The verse doesn't say "Know that the Lord is good." It doesn't confine God to just mere human knowledge. It pushes us to experience God in a tangible and satisfying way. I think our society gets wrapped up in a head knowledge of the God. The American church begins to focus solely on creating good doctrine (which is important) and having all the right answers based on scripture (which is also important). But, I believe when the emphasis is only placed on knowledge and correct answers, and leaves out the very important part of an encounter with the living God then, we begin to create an idol of knowledge. And when we create idols of earthly things...well we all know what happens there.

This past week at church we sang a song by Jenn Johnson called "O Taste and See" Click here to listen to the song on her myspace. People were jumping around, dancing, playing tambourines, and shouting praises at the top of their lungs. It was a celebration like none other. No one wanted to stop worshiping! It was really fun stuff. Let's just say that God showed up and everyone walked away hoarse and happy.

Psalms 34:8 makes it apparent that we are not supposed to just know things about God and have all the right answers but, we are supposed to experience the goodness of the Lord. So, rather than just having a small taste of his goodness I pray that this week you (and I :) will experience a life-changing, earth-shaking encounter with the Creator of the Universe, that you will FEAST on his goodness, and walk away a changed person!


Unanswered Questions

Lately, I have thought of a lot of questions. The types of questions that you wish you could ask God and receive a clear answer. Things that I assume will be revealed to us when we are in heaven, but for now God feels it isn't necessary. Below is a list of some of the questions that have been running through my mind. Maybe you can relate.
  • Is there life somewhere else in the universe other than Earth?
  • Did Judas know he was the betrayer when Jesus spoke about it at the last supper? If so, did he have a choice to repent and change his mind after Jesus spoke the words? If he did, why did he go through with it when Jesus said it would be better if the betrayer had never been born. If he didn't, then what happened to free will? Was he just a pawn in the grand scheme?
  • How many hairs are on my head?
  • Are we going to need to eat in heaven? Are we going to need anything in heaven?
  • How come some people receive more faith/favor than others? Why not give everyone the same amount so we all have an equal playing field?
  • How come some people are healed when we pray for them, and others are not?
  • How many stars are in the universe?
  • Do Adam and Eve have belly buttons?
  • If God knows everything then He knew that Adam and Eve would sin from the beginning and that this sin would ultimately lead to God having send Jesus to die for us. Why did He create the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the first place?
  • Why did you create mosquitoes?
  • Where is the Garden of Eden?
  • When did dinosaurs come into play? Before the flood?
  • Why does the devil keep doing what he does if he knows the end of the story?
  • Do our heavenly bodies look like our earthly bodies, but just prettier?
  • How did Jonah survive in the Whale?
  • Where the tongues of fire in the real world or spiritual realm? Could everyone see them?
  • How old was Jesus when he realized he was the Messiah/Son of God? How old was he when he realized what he was going to have to do for Humanity?
  • Why was there so much war and fighting in the old testament, but You are a God of love and peace?
  • How could the people of Jerusalem change their minds so quickly on how they felt about Jesus. One day they are greeting him with shouts of joy and praise and then a few days later they are shouting his sentence of death on a cross?
  • Is God a man or woman or neither/both?
  • Did creation literally take 6 days or was that time stretched out over thousands of years?
  • What is eternity really like?
These are just a handful of the questions I would love to have the answers to and this is barely the tip of the ice burg. There are TONS more. I think it is important that we ask these types of questions. We might not ever know the answers on this earth, but I think God likes that we are curious. Honestly, I am OK with not knowing the answers to things like this it is all part of God's mystery. It opens the door for God to give me revelation if he wants and for me to learn how to rest. How to rest in not knowing the answers but in the end knowing that God is good and that is all that really matters, right?


Why I Love Election Day

Well, today is November 4th. The big election day. We have been waiting what seems like years for this thing to be done with. At this point, most people have decided who they are going to vote for. And I am convinced that all those "undecided" people are only saying that for the attention they get on CNN.com.

Josh and I got up super early to go vote before work. I kinda wish I hadn't now, because when I got to work we all had an e-mail from the big boss telling us to leave to go vote and take as long as we want. What's up with that!? I wish I would have known he was going to send that out and I would have taken a 3 hour lunch to go out to Williamson Co. and vote. Lame...

We waited about 30 mins in line. Saw a couple of friends in line as we waited. Stole some coffee from the church we voted at got an awesome sticker and overall had a great time. Afterward, we trecked on over to Krispy Kreme where they are giving out free red-white and blue sprinkel donuts today with an "I voted" sticker. Good stuff. Also, I just found out that with that same sticker you can get a free coffee at starbucks, a free chick-fil-a sandwhich, AND a Ben and Jerry's ice cream! This is the best day ever!!

Those aren't the only reason's why I love voting/election day. Here is a list of the top ten reasons why election day is awesome to me.

10. The Magic Map on CNN
9. Crazy campaigners standing on the corner with signs that say "Christians for Obama" (Shouldn't it be Christians for Jesus people? It seems they are putting their hope in the wrong place...)
8. The people who honk at the crazy campaigners standing on the corner and yell out their window "Go John McCain!"
7. Free coffee from the People's church (my voting location)
6. The flashing red button at the top of the digital ballot that says "Vote." It makes you feel like you are pressing something important.
5. The anticipation awaiting the results till the wee hours of the night/morning.
4. The "I voted" sticker that you get to wear proudly during the day.
3. The free reign to take as long as we want to vote from our bosses.
2. Election day perks at Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Ben and Jerry's, and Krispy Kreme and more...
1. Getting to be a part of deciding the future for America.

But, seriously people. Go vote. It's important. It's critical. It's today.