Friday, March 30, 2018

Our Living Hope by Sandra Fischer

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

I am in an online support group of people who have a family member with a terminal disease. Some of the posts I read are filled with feelings ranging from anger to grief to despair. I find myself identifying with them, crying out to God at the thought of losing someone so dear.

I think about how another support group may have experienced those same feelings on the day we call “Good Friday.” What seemed to be the end of all hope occurred at a place called Calvary, by the death of Jesus, on a cross between two thieves.

Then, I read other posts from the support group—expressions filled with gratitude, faith, and hope. And I think of another day long ago when such feelings were demonstrated on that first Easter. Christ had risen victorious over death, fulfilling the promise that through Him, we can have eternal life as well! I take heart in the promise.

I ponder the fact that all of us are on the same journey toward leaving this life; death is the reality. But, for us who follow Christ, it is not the end—it’s not Friday anymore—it’s the Easter of our lives, our Resurrection Day. As we await, we hang between two thieves, regrets of the past and fears of tomorrow. We have no control over either. Today—this moment—we can choose to be thankful for what we have—the constant love and presence of God, our living hope, to help, guide and strengthen us in our journey.
Oh, LORD, how desperately we need to embrace the assurance You’ve given us that death is not the end—by Your gift of grace in Christ, we have a living hope!
Sandra is a Faithwriters Platinum member and author of the book, “Seasons in the Garden.” Contact
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dressed in Easter Best by Sandra Fischer

But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. Matthew 22:11 ESV

Where I grew up, everyone donned their Sunday best attire for Easter. Men sported new suits. Women boasted the latest spring fashions, crowned with hats adorned in flowers and ribbons. Young girls wore white bonnets, lacy socks and patent leather shoes. 

I recalled this when reading the parable of the wedding feast given by the king (God) for his son (Jesus) in Matthew 22. The guests needed to be clothed in proper wedding garments, or they were unacceptable. When one of them appeared improperly dressed, he was thrown out by the king. 

True Easter apparel is not found in fashionable suits, dresses and bonnets. Real Easter attire was provided on a cross draped with Jesus, whose death and resurrection offered the means for all to come to the future wedding feast in heaven. The parable in Matthew is a warning to those not clothed for that future event in the proper attire—the righteousness of Christ.
What have you chosen to wear for Easter? Will you be dressed properly, able to sing the words of the hymn, “And Can It Be?”

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness Divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

“Lord, I thank you for providing the best of Easter clothing—Christ’s righteousness. I pray for all to accept your gift of grace through faith in him.”