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Posts tagged ‘Paschal Mystery’

Closed door, open window…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
-Ephesians 2:4-5

When you’re in the midst of loss, death, or dramatic change that you don’t want, it is so difficult to say, “Lord, I trust the resurrection power.”

Nevertheless, as the cliché says, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” Jesus is made alive in everyone because he was willing to die (the closed door). Then, in the resurrection (the open window), Christ becomes alive in the hearts of everyone who believes in his name, and that is awesome.

The Paschal Mystery – the Christian concept that no matter who or what dies, there’s always resurrection – deals with death in a way that the world traditionally doesn’t. A believing Christian doesn’t like death, or loss, or change, but when death comes, he or she knows that resurrection is not far behind.

Fulton Sheen said, “Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me not fear the losses in my life. Reassure me that, when the losses come, the blessings soon follow. Amen.

Reflection: What has been your hardest “Good Friday” (closed door) experience? Describe the “Easter Sunday” (open window) that followed.

The Paschal mystery….

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
-John 12:24

Paschal is a term with which most people aren’t familiar. The Paschal, as defined by the Church fathers, is that no matter how bad things get, no matter who or what dies, there’s always resurrection coming.

In life, when we face many deaths and losses, we will always have a choice. We can hold on and do whatever we can to keep the death from happening or pretend as if it’s still alive. Or we can mourn the deaths and losses in faith so that we can move on to resurrection. That’s what God is doing now in our ministry.

In John chapter 12, Jesus says that “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds.” This was Russian philosopher Dostoevsky‘s favorite Bible verse, that no matter when death comes, by faith, resurrection is available.

That’s the “Paschal Mystery.” It begins with Jesus, who came into this world and gave his life for us. He didn’t want to die. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prays, “Lord, take this cup from me if you will.” And then he says, “Not my will, but yours be done.” We know that Christ freely gave his life on the cross for us, but we also know that he was resurrected.

Even more than the cross, it’s the resurrection that gives the believer hope.

Prayer: Dear Lord, just as Christ prayed in the garden, I pray, “Not my will but yours be done.” Amen.

Reflection: When was it the hardest to put aside your own plan or hope to allow God’s will for your life to be done?

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