Have you ever experienced being the butt of cruel mockery? Being a shy and quiet girl in my childhood, I think I slipped through the years unnoticed for I never was treated with cruelty. I did observe others being treated so but never witnessed the degree of bullying that takes place today.
Have you ever observed a judge sentencing someone to death? A solemn silence pervades the courtroom as the sentence is read. Everyone is quiet and there is a profound awareness of the majesty of the law. Often the one to whom the sentence is read collapses and audible cries are heard in the room, no matter how heinous the crime. A judge has an awesome responsibility and his/her duties weigh heavy upon him. After passing a sentence, especially one of death, you would hardly expect the judge to turn to revelry or frivolity immediately thereafter. Wouldn’t it seem sinister if they did so? Somehow disgraceful?
Scarcely had Israel’s judges condemned Christ to death for blasphemy when a monstrous scene unfolded in the High Priest’s courtyard. They viciously abused their prisoner. Christ became the butt of mockery to the cruelest degree. The religious leaders spat in his face, struck him repeatedly. He was so disfigured by their abuse that he no longer resembled anything human. They blindfolded him and danced around him. They continued to rain blows upon him and ordered him to tell them who struck him.
A knitting friend mentioned to me that an alumni from a local college produced the new film coming out about bullying. My thoughts went to Christ who suffered the worst kind of bullying. He stood unflinchingly. He left himself to the mercy of his tormentors, he being the one who by a word could have destroyed them.
‘When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly’ (1 Peter 2:23)
So suffered our divine Substitute. With His stripes we are healed.
ONE THOUSAND GIFTS in 2012, continuing the Joy Dare and finding great strength and unsurpassed joy in the process –
209. Round Robin eggs. A nest set out to always remind me of EUCHARISTEO.
210. Round apples. Thankful for the health benefits on eating one a day.
211. Round spice jars. Thankful for herbs and spices that make our food more pleasurable.
212. A white dog with snow on her nose looking out on a white snow blanketed front yard. So thankful for precipitation!
213. A white cross bookmark reminding me to pray for the friend who crocheted it.
214. White Celtic Knot alphabet charts used to plan a project I am excited about. Thankful to have found just what I was looking for!
215. A gift at 11AM – a friend showing me how to count bars between rows and giving tips on a new sock architecture.
216. A gift at 2PM – a phone call from an beloved friend in another state, a pleasant and timely surprise.
217. A gift at 6PM – bulgur wheat tabbouleh when my errands took longer than expected.
218. Grandchildren, a crown of glory. On my way to meet K++, heart filled with joy and thanksgiving.
220. Pondering Luther’s words, “He died for me; he made his righteousness mine and made my sin his own; and if he made my sin his own, then I do not have it and I am free.” What joy!
221. ‘It was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief…’ (Isaiah 53:10)
3 GIFTS BUDDING/BLOOMING
225. Pussy willows budding on aspen trees promising that quaking leaves will soon arrive.
226. Smile on granddaughter’s face which will bloom into many others.
227. Budding family traditions of their own on a first Easter
THREE GIFTS BRIGHT
228. Bright orange colored pencil marking off time in the Word.
229. Bright Post-Its marking my place on a complicated knitting chart – what a great invention!
230. The bright word ‘Illuminated’ on the spine of a new book. I am very excited to brush up on calligraphy and ‘illuminate’ a few of my favorite verses.
231. For six inches of fresh snow, springtime in the Rockies.
232. For Jesus Calling, a book offering comfort to my parents in the midst of a difficult trial. Romans 8:28
233. For rattles on K++ and watching her move her hands and feet to make noise.
234. Looking up verses on a Saturday morning with friends, hard verses – truth seeping in transforming my heart.
Joining with many others today in thanksgiving ………..