All posts by tputnam

Scars and Stripes Forever

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6
Allow me to paraphrase. “But he was impaled because of our sin; he was crushed because of our propensity to sin; he was punished in our place, and because of his punishment, we are given peace; and we are emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally healed by his wounds. Every one of us decided to follow our own crookedness, and God placed on him the crookedness of us all.”

Christ beckons us with his crucifixion, to receive healing and forgiveness from God. It is time to freely acknowledge our weakness before the Almighty who put on weakness for us; it is time to place our fears, worries, aches, pains, sins, emotional wounds, and diseases into the hands of the one whose hands were pierced for us. We come longing for his presence, and receiving his forgiveness.
The beating and crucifixion of Jesus accomplished much more than just our forgiveness; it also secured our healing. Where forgiveness is concerned with our past, healing is concerned with our present and our future.

My prayer for you. is that you would uncover the hidden places where the fears, pains, etc., have been hiding, and expose them to Jesus the Merciful, to the gentle healer himself.

Don’t Forget!

Don’t forget! It seems this theme is repeated to the children of God over and over throughout scripture. It could be because we forget so easily. Like a ribbon on our spiritual fingers, the church seasons help us remember. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, etc. – These are seasons set up to help us remember and integrate what God has done in history with what God does for us now. So this year, let’s use our time wisely as we prepare ourselves for the coming season.

Around Thanksgiving, my favorite comic strip is “Foxtrot.” If you have ever seen the strip, the author dedicates almost two weeks showing how the family gets ready. The father and son eat as much as possible to “stretch their stomachs” because they know that Thanksgiving is coming, and they must be ready. They refuse to treat it like any other meal. It requires “training!” We are coming up to a Christian season of thanksgiving. Just like the Thanksgiving meal is far superior to a normal dinner, so the “meals” we get during Passion week and Easter carry much more meat for us than normal weeks.

So let us prepare for these “meals” together during Lent. Let us come together and receive all that this season has to offer: awareness of our sins, confidence in God’s grace, and hope for the future.

Training starts February 9th!