“Were you there when they crucified my Lord …” - 17 April 2014

Hennie Symington

 

“I have wanted so much to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer! For I tell you, I will never eat it until it is given its full meaning in the Kingdom of God.” Luke 22:15

Traditionally Easter is a time to go on a journey – not to the seaside, the game reserve or to the mountains but an inner journey where you follow the passion of Christ step by step as if you were there witnessing the incredible pathos of Jesus’ last moments with his disciples, his betrayal, torture and death. It is a journey crucial to you as a believer because Easter, more than any other Christian celebration, is the one which fundamentally changes and renews us.

Become part of the passion of Christ by celebrating Easter with passion – not as an outsider but as a deeply engaged participant. Place yourself in an upper room somewhere in Jerusalem 2 014 years ago where Jesus celebrated the Passover meal for the last time with his disciples before experiencing the agony of deceit and denial from those who were closest to him.

On Good Friday we mourn as does all of creation, the death of the Creator when all of nature shuddered in horror and all of creation waited in expectation. Between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday when of all of creation was figuratively speaking, suspended between heaven and hell in quiet prayer and meditation, think about Jesus’ traversing the journey through from life to death for no other reason than to restore our lives. His journey from death into life makes it possible for you to rise up and live. Therefore, rise up and rejoice with all of creation shouting out your Easter greeting: "Christ is risen. Yes, he is truly risen!”

Prayer: Oh Lord, if your death and resurrection remain but a moving tableau between the pages of an ancient book, then you will have died for nought. Breathe your breath into my desiccated life so that I can arise and live anew. Amen

“I’m looking for a miracle I my life” - 16 April 2014

Hennie Symington

 

… We shall become mature people reaching the very height of Christ’s full stature. Then we shall no longer be like children carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of teaching… Ephesians 4:14a

“I love miracles!” Don’t we all. We love to watch the TV ads of before and after and dream of getting a makeover that will change or lives from the dull to glamorous in an instant. We spend our lives dreaming and hoping for the impossible to happen. We pray for the right job to come along without making any effort on our part. We pray for Mr Right to walk into our lives and make it all ok. We pray that the ugly rumours we’ve spread, won’t do any harm. Sometimes we just pray for the impossible.

Alas, God is no magician. Yet, miracles form the basis of our Christian faith. Miracles happen because dedicated Christians work very hard towards making miracles happen. Such miracles happen when forgiveness of the unforgivable occurs and where people are reconciled across their differences. Miracles happen when broken relationships are restored between husband and wife, father and son, parent and child, father and mother, and friend and foe forgive and find one another again.

Miracles occur when the lion and the lamb lie together and swords are melded into ploughshares. However, the greatest miracle of all time was when God became like one of us to stand in for us so that death would no longer have the final say.

Prayer: Dear Lord, make us understand that wishing for the impossible does not a miracle make. Miracles and wonders happen where your will is done. Amen

“Was jy daar toe hulle my Heer geskruisig het …” - 17 April 2014

Hennie Symington

Beste Versndag-lesers

Ek bied ek graag ‘n verduideliking t.o.v. van wat ek in gister se stukkie geskryf wat mense moontlik aanstoot gegee het. Ek bedoel hoegenaamd nie dat God nie alles kan doen nie. God kan alles doen - hy is soewerein en sy wil is volmaak. Maar God hoef nie alles te doen wat ons wil hê hy moet doen nie. Natuurlik gebeur daar wonderwerke maar, en dit het ek ook baie duidelik in die stuk gestel, dis alles binne God se volmaakte wil. In ‘n vorige stukkie het ek ook verwys na die Skrifgeleerdes wat hom uitgedaag het om wonderwerke te doen om te bewys dat hy die Christus is. En dit het hy geweier om te doen. Baie dankie aan die lesers wat hulle terugvoer gegee het. Ek neem dit ter harte.

Groete

 

   Hy sê toe vir hulle: “Ek het baie daarna uitgesien om hierdie paasmaaltyd saam met julle te eet voordat Ek ly.” Lukas 22:15

Hy het nie skoonheid of prag gehad dat ons na hom sou kyk nie, nie die voorkoms dat ons van hom sou hou nie. Jesaja 53:2

Paasfees ʼn tyd om op reis te gaan - nie see toe of wildtuin of berge toe nie, maar op ʼn innerlike reis waar jy stap vir stap die passie van Christus meemaak asof jy self daar was en die ongelooflike drama van afskeid, verraad, lyding en sterwe beleef het. Dis ʼn reis wat jy nie durf misloop nie, want meer as enige ander Christenfees is dit die fees wat ons ten diepste konfronteer met ons Christelike geloof. Dit is die fees by uitstek wat ons verander en nuut maak.

 

Word deel van die Christus se passie deur Pase met passie te vier – nie as buitestaanders nie maar as ʼn bewoë deelnemer. Plaas jouself in ʼn bokamer êrens in Jerusalem 2 014 jaar gelede waar Jesus die pasga vir oulaas saam met sy dissipels vier voordat hy die pyn van verraad en verloëning van die wat die naaste aan hom was, moes verduur.

 

Op Goeie Vrydag rou ons saam met die skepping oor die dood van die Skepper toe die natuur van skok geruk het en die ganse skepping asem opgehou het. Op stil Saterdag tussen Goeie Vrydag en Opstandingsondag verkeer die mensdom figuurlik gesproke tussen die hemel en die hel. Dink daaraan dat Christus die reis van die dood terug na die lewe onderneem en voltooi het vir geen ander rede as om nuwe lewe in jou are terug te blaas nie. Sy oorgang van die dood na die lewe maak dit vir jou moontlik om op te staan en te lewe. Juig dus saam met die skepping wanneer jy jou groet op Opstandingsondag helder laat klink saam met miljoene ander: “Christus het opgestaan! Ja, Hy het waarlik opgestaan!”

Gebed: Here, as u dood en opstanding vir my net ʼn ontroerende tafereel tussen die blaaie van 'n boek bly, het U verniet gesterf. Blaas u asem oor my lewe sodat ek kan opstaan en voluit lewe. Amen

Ek soek ‘n wonderwerk in my lewe - 16 April 2014

Hennie Symington

 

Dan sal ons nie meer kinders wees nie; ons sal nie meer soos golwe op en af en heen en weer geslinger word deur elke wind (nie) ....Efesiërs 4:14a

Ons almal droom van wonderwerke. “Ag as ek net ‘n wonder kan sien ...” is die versugting van baie harte.Ons word meegevoer deur wat ons op die TV-skerm sien. Ons droom van “makeovers” wat ons lewens van vaal na vrolik sal omtower in ‘n oogwenk. Ons droom ons dae om met die hoop dat iets ons lewens dramaties gaan verander. Ons bid vir die regte werk om in ons skoot te val; ons bid dat ons die regte maat wat alles gaan verander sal ontmoet. Ons bid dat die skinderstories wat ons versprei het, nie skade gaan doen nie. Soms is ons gebede sommer net wensdenkery soos om te bid vir ‘n somersdag in die middel van die winter.

Mense hou daarvan om God as ʼn towenaar sien. God kan enigiets doen, dink ons. God kan nie enigiets doen nie, juis omdat Hy God is. Tog is ons Christelik geloof op wonderwerke gebaseer. Wonderwerke gebeur wanneer toegewyde Christene alles in die stryd werp om die goeie tot stand te bring. Sulke wonderwerke gebeur wanneer vergifnis van die onvergeeflike plaasvind en versoening gebeur. Wonderwerke gebeur wanneer mense oor grense heen versoen word. Wonderwerke gebeur wanneer gebroke verhoudings herstel word – wanneer man en vrou, vader en seun, broer en suster, vriend en vyand mekaar vergewe en vind. Wonderwerke gebeur wanneer die leeu en die lam saam wei en swaarde in ploegskare gesmee word.

Die grootste wonderwerk ooit was egter toe God onder ons kom woon het en vir ons kom instaan het sodat die dood nie die laaste sê sou hê nie. In plaas daarvan om op jag te wees na wonderwerke, kom ons doen liewer die wil van ons Vader en al die dinge sal vir ons bygevoeg word.

Gebed: Here help ons om te begryp dat om te smag na die onmoontlike nie wonderwerke te weeg bring nie. Gee dat on sons eerder daarop sal rig om u wil te laat geskied. Amen

Everything has its time - 11 November 2013

Riélle Heine

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1,11a

The concept of time always crops up somewhere in our daily conversations. What is shocking is that it is mostly mentioned in a negative context.  Something along the line of "I'm so busy, I did not have time" or "Everything is so rushed " or "Look how the time has flown!"

Time, which was intended as a gift from God, has become our boss. Instead of being in control of our time, it feels as if time is a skateboard under our feet that we’re desperately clinging to, trying to stay on top! Many things we plan down to the last detail, but when it comes to time, we carry on indifferently.

Too often we think like this about time:

Everything can wait until later,

Everything in this world can be postponed

- until I feel like doing it

- until I feel better

- until my children are older, or out of the house

- until I’ve worried myself sick about it

... until it's too late.

Maybe there’s a letter, an email, a phone call or a visit you’ve been putting off for weeks - maybe now is the time to do it. Maybe today is the time to encourage, to forgive, to speak or to remain silent. Perhaps the time has now come to go back and make amends.

The other day I found this English poem tucked away between some cards I had stashed away (I wish I knew who the author was):

When I have time

there is a poem to be written,

a song to be sung

When I have time

there is a child to be led

a prayer to be said.

When I have time

I’ll tell you a story,

I’ll visit a friend.

Alas, time is gone –

The poem’s unwritten,

The song unsung

The child is a man

grown up unled

The prayer, ah! the prayer,

it went unsaid.

The story is ended.

Prayer: Lord, let me realise anew each day that time is a great gift from you. Help me not to postpone things. Help me to plan my time, to grab hold of the hours and use them. Amen

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