The Wall St. Journal published yesterday “the Easter Effect, an excellent article by George Weigel. He asks how did 11 men convert 1/4 to 1/2 of the Roman Empire to Christianity in three hundred years? He writes “There is no accounting for the rise of Christianity without weighing the revolutionary effect on those nobodies of what they called “the Resurrection”: their encounter with the one whom they embraced as the Risen Lord, whom they first knew as the itinerant Jewish rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, and who died an agonizing and shameful death on a Roman cross outside Jerusalem. As N.T. Wright, one of the Anglosphere’s pre-eminent biblical scholars, makes clear, that first generation answered the question of why they were Christians with a straightforward answer: because Jesus was raised from the dead.”
We will be discussing this article in the next several days.
Please pray for Leah Sharibu. She is 15 years old and is the only girl from Dapchi, Nigeria whom the Boko Haran has not released. Five girls were killed, 104 were returned, and Christian Leah is still being held by her Muslim captors.
Pray that she will be protected and that she will stay firm in her faith. Pray that her captors will understand who Jesus Christ is.
Today Christians celebrate Palm Sunday. What a way to enter Jerusalem. Called the King of the Jews, but Christ Jesus enters the capital of His kingdom on a donkey. Not a stallion, but a donkey. Not in a chariot. But on a foal of a donkey.
Weapons? Just palm branches. No swords, spears, or lances. Just palm branches.
But this simple man, shook the foundations of the world. Ask the common man when Caesar Augustus reigned, and they can’t give you an answer. But we know when Christ was born. We use His birth year every day. For this year is 2018 years after Christ was born.
Lord, thank you for changing history.
My wife and I watched a 1958 film, Bell, Candle, and Book. The film stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak and deals with witchcraft. It was supposed to be a romantic comedy, but it was not funny. Kim Novak is a witch, while her brother, Jack Lemmon, is a warlock (a male witch). The only thing that I can recommend in the film is the one statement that witches, (because they are of the devil), cannot love. Kim Novak sheds being a witch and when she becomes a human she has real emotions – she can cry and laugh and love. Her brother does not understand that as he remains on the dark side.
We went to hear the Handel's Messiah. In America, it is sung for Christmas, but when we lived in Belgium, it was sung at Easter. Why Easter? Because the purpose of Christ's coming to the earth, was not just to be born. His real purpose was to die for our sins. Handel's Part II describes eloquently Christ's purpose.
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
And with His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Jeffrey Garten discusses ten people who impacted globalization in his book Silk to Silicon. These ten people vary from Genghis Khan to Deng Xiaoping He lists only one world wide philanthropist. Even though Jeffrey Garten is not a Christian, in fact he is anti-Christian, he acknowledges the first world wide philanthropist was John D. Rockefeller and he attributes that to Rockefeller's Christianity. Rockefeller was a devoted Christian.
We went to a Holiday Concert – and there were two songs about Santa Claus. He knows those who are naughty and nice. Not Jesus Christ the Judge, but Santa Claus. Then he was introduced as "the big man of Christmas," the one everyone is waiting for. We used to sing the Christmas carol "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus." And now Santa Claus is the long expected person.
Lord, help us to realize the difference between Christ and Santa Claus.
The Man Who Invented Christmas posed the problem if you can change. Could Scrooge change from his evil ways or was he incapable of changing? As we all know, Scrooge could and did change his ways. But are you capable of changing your ways and believing in Christ?
Lord, help us to become Your followers.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is an excellent film. It is the story of how Charles Dickens became inspired to write The Christmas Carol. It is generally historically accurate, and the story becomes alive. As he visits various people, they morph into various characters and he sees them. Then the invariable knock on the door comes and his concentration is wrecked and they disappear.
The Man Who Invented Christmas is highly recommended. There is no profanity and no nudity. Suitable for all ages.