The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn’t the end. Jesus didn’t escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.”
Steven James, Story

Dare to Believe

James Tissot, The Two Marys at the Tomb, Brooklyn Museum of Art
Notice their postures. Expressionless, really. Pensive. Grief-stricken.
Waiting. Watching. Wondering.

Dare to believe?

What I love most about Tissot’s painting, The Two Marys at the Tomb, is their posture. Doesn’t it seem they are leaning on one another? They seem to be waiting, watching, and wondering.

They had been with Jesus. Walked with him. Watched his mighty acts and his humble demeanor. They knew him and loved him deeply.

I believe author Steven James, who I had the privilege of meeting last year, really says it well:

The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn’t the end. Jesus didn’t escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.”

With emphasis on, “He conquered it [death] and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe.

Dare to Love?

I pray this week has been as beneficial for you as it has been for me.

Writing and thinking and looking at the gospels through art has enriched me on so many levels. My intention was to be mindful and reflective, and this week with you has been that. I’ve seen several of you around town and appreciate your kind words about our time together, via this blog.

Today, after time spent in our Sacred Space, Women of the Passion, I can’t get the vision of Mary Magdalene out of my head. Reading through John 20:1-18, we see she rises early (if she even went to bed), runs to the tomb to anoint Jesus’s body, finds he isn’t there, runs to tell the others, entertains angels, and then stays behind, weeping, after everyone else has gone home. It seems she can’t bear to leave.

Then, suddenly, she sees a man who asks her, “Why are you weeping?”

Thinking he is a gardener, she answers.

And then…he says her name, “Mary!”

Her spirit ears are opened and she realizes it is her Jesus.

Dare to Believe

James Tissot, Appearance to Mary Magdalene, Brooklyn Museum of Art

One Question.

Mary had experienced the radical forgiveness of Jesus.

The time she spent with Jesus changed her life.

She dared to believe in him and in his teaching and in his power.

Dare to Believe

Today, I both ask and challenge myself and you: Do we dare to believe like Mary believed? Unabashedly?

I’m leaning in and answering, “Yes!”

How about you? Mary shows us that Jesus can be trusted. He is faithful and true and oh so real. If you need to, lean on me. We are on this holy journey together.

Let us wait and watch and wonder…we are Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.