Daniel Foster | @danielfoster07
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” John 20:1-2
Just coming out of the Easter season, I’m sure most of us read the above passage. It is now the third day after Jesus had been crucified and laid in the tomb and Mary (and others) decided to go to the tomb early in the morning and take a sneak peek to see if Jesus had in fact risen. Upon arrival, Mary noticed the stone was no longer blocking the entrance to the empty tomb and decided to run and tell a few of the disciples. This is where it kinda gets funny.
Ellen Martin | @ellenmartin03
Have you ever felt judged when you walked into a church? Let’s get more real: Have you ever judged someone either in or out of church?
I have been judged.
And I am guilty of judging others.
Unfortunately I think it’s safe to say that most people have both judged and been judged. Judgement in church is a huge problem. As a teen, one of the reasons that I stopped going to youth group was because I felt that I wasn’t “good enough” to be with the other people there. My heart breaks for those who feel judged in church on a regular basis because they aren’t “good enough” in the congregation’s eyes. In a way, no one is “good enough”. No one deserves the grace of God. Despite this, Jesus died for everyone.
Let’s be real with each other. We are all sinners. We all need Jesus’ forgiveness. Should we dwell on our past mistakes? No, we need to grab hold of the new creation Christ makes us. Should we recognize that we all need grace and forgiveness? Yes.
Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
“Mary did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you delivered will soon deliver you…”
Whether it’s a favorite of yours or you choose to quickly switch the station, whether you prefer Kenny Rogers and Wynona Judd or Vicki Winans (or any of the other dozens of artists who sang it); this song, like clockwork, makes its annual debut every year just after Thanksgiving. Personally for me, it’s a favorite. (Then again, I also love "Christmas Shoes", which I’m learning is the eleventh sin and something no one in their right mind will ever admit to.)
Maybe it’s because I am a mom and maybe my love for the song increased when I welcomed my first born just 5 days shy of Christmas day, but either way this beautifully written ballad is a great reminder during the whole year, not just the month of December.
When you think of Jesus, what crosses your mind? Maybe floods of childhood Sunday school lessons come rushing back. Maybe you picture him seated in a throne next to our Almighty. Possibly, you immediately think of his crucifixion and resurrection. When I think of Jesus, I ponder his childhood. Again, that very well could be because I have a son of my own who was born December 20th, so every year as he celebrates another year of life, I try to imagine Jesus at that very age. Being Mom, I also try to imagine what Mary must have gone through during her time of motherhood to our Savior. My favorite story concerning Jesus’ childhood is found in Luke. In these ten verses, we get a glimpse into the preteen boy he was and the Savior he would become.
Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
Have you ever sat around the table on Thanksgiving, where everybody is going around giving a small list of things they are thankful for, and then it gets to your turn and you rattle off some generic stuff -- friends, family, pumpkin pie -- and then allow the next person to speak, all the while thinking to yourself that you really don't feel thankful? You don't feel happy? You aren't satisfied with the way life is? And as you listen to everyone else gush about the things that they are thankful for, do you start to feel like you're the only one who is unsatisfied?
Every day, a countless number of people on this earth make a decision based on the fact that they are unsatisfied. Some might seem productive.
"I'm going to start going to the gym because I'm sick of being fat."
"I'm going to go back to college and finish my degree, so I can get a better job."
"I'm going to make myself go to this singles event, because I need to meet someone! I'm tired of being alone."
I'm going to let you in on a secret:
NOBODY IS SATISFIED.
Not really. And it's only a secret because everyone wants to hide it.