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You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes

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Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.

The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.

(Click for enlarged)

A WORD FOR TODAY, April 18, 2014

“And he entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city. And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven. And behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (then saith he to the sick of the palsy), Arise, and take up thy bed, and go up unto thy house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they were afraid, and glorified God, who had given such authority unto men.” Matthew 9:1-8, ASV

Think about the journey Jesus has walked in the past few days. Sunday was a triumphant day with the crowds singing Hosanna and throwing palm branches. In the following days, Jesus made such an impact on the city of Jerusalem that the religious leaders were debating how to be rid of Him. They were angry because He upset the order and commerce of the Temple and was preaching a message that was counter to their teaching. Today’s story is from much earlier in His ministry, but I’m sure the words of forgiveness were spoken often during this Passover, as Jesus pointed to the promises of God.

In the final days Jesus said good-bye to His closest friends, knelt at their feet in servitude as He washed their feet, gave them a new commandment to love one another and a new covenant of bread and wine. In the garden, He begged His friends to stay awake so that they were be prepared for the coming storm, but they ignored His plea and fell asleep while He agonized over the things that must happen. He was betrayed by a close friend, arrested, beaten and humiliated. He was denied by His closest friend and abandoned by all the others. He was harassed by the religious leaders, the soldiers and the Roman rulers.

In the end, the hardest journey was the walk to Golgotha. No one knows for sure, but most scholars estimate that Jesus walked a half mile. Much of that journey was taken with the cross on His back. He stumbled and fell. He ached from the slashes in His back. His head was bleeding with the crown of thorns. He was hassled by the spectators. He witnessed the pain of His mother and the other women who were grieving for Him. On the hill, Jesus saw prophecy fulfilled in the way the soldiers dealt with His clothes. He was nailed to a cross and poisoned with bitter wine mixed with gall. He was taunted, even by another criminal nailed to a cross.

Can you imagine how defeated He was in those final moments? The only friends He could see were His mother, some other women and John. There may have been others shocked and dismayed by the proceedings, but they were hiding. They were afraid. “If someone like Jesus could be hung on a cross, what might they do to me?” In the end, Jesus was even forsaken by God.

He did this because only He has the authority and the power to forgive. He took upon His own shoulders our sin, He died in our place. He makes all things knew. Like the man in today’s story, Jesus forgives us and then calls us to rise into a new life. He sends us out into the world to live for His sake, to tell His story, to continue His work, to speak forgiveness into the lives of those who are burdened by sin and the grace to show them that Jesus can make them well. He walked the hardest walk to His death so that we can walk with Him in His life.

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A WORD FOR TODAY, April 17, 2014

“Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God, riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself. Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew him that should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.” John 13:1-17, ASV

Washing the feet of visitors was the task of the lowliest servant. It was a terrible job, carrying the pan of water, kneeling on the floor, touching the filthy feet of a stranger. The roads were not paved, the pathways were dusty and muddy. They did not wear socks and sneakers, the sandals protected the feet from the rough path but not from all the dirt. Though the sandals protected the feet, the feet were most likely to be rough and worn, and even broken, from the long journeys. A long journey might even leave the feet bloodied. Foot washing was an intimate process, but it was given to the person who could not even think about intimacy with the guest.

Foot washing was left for the least of the servants; a master would never have even considered doing such a thing. Jesus was not just any master. Jesus had all power and authority; God had given Jesus control over everything. He was the Master, the disciples’ rabbi, who was training His disciples for a new covenant. He was their Lord, and yet He humbly knelt before them to do the menial task given to only the least of the least. He was devoted to the disciples in love, a love that would take Him to the cross.

We might not always enjoy the menial tasks that are necessary to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. As a matter of fact, we might think that those tasks are beneath us. We certainly do not want to do them for people who do not seem worthy. Yet, as Christians we are called not just to love one another, but to be devoted to each other, so much so that we are willing to get on our knees in service to their needs. We are encouraged to put others first and serve them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Foot washing is not common in our households these days, but think about the things we do wash. Who wants to touch dirty underwear or scrub plates covered grease and ketchup? Who wants to scrub the toilet or the bathroom floor? Who wants to wipe the bottom of a stinky baby? We don’t want to do these things but we do without complaint to take care of the needs of our families and make their life pleasant. I think it is interesting that I’m more willing to wash the dishes in the kitchen sink when everyone is home than when I’m alone. I suppose part of it has to do with the fact that it would become overwhelming if I left them for a few days, but I also want to make sure that there are clean glasses available so that they can easily get a drink when they need it.

Jesus did many other things for His disciples besides washing their feet. He healed their illnesses and He forgave their sins. He fed their bellies with food and their hearts with God’s Word. He showed them the Kingdom of heaven and gave them hope in the midst of their troubles. He put the needs of not only those disciples, but also each of us, before His own needs and desires. No one wants to die, but Jesus humbly went to the cross for our sake, showing us His devotion and honoring us with His service, even though we did not deserve it. He doesn’t kneel before us to wash our feet anymore, but He has done something even greater: He has washed us of our sin and made us righteous before God so that we will dwell with Him for eternity.

The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.

The Birth of our Saviour

The Story of our Saviour's Passion

The Crucifixion, a fictional perspective

Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain. Some scripture on this site taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

As you may be aware, I also write a weekly devotional on Wednesday called "MIDWEEK OASIS." For those of you who are familiar with lectionary scripture sources, MIDWEEK OASIS is based on the texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text. We are now using the lectionary for our A WORD FOR TODAY texts. This devotional is posted on Wednesday, at both A WORD FOR TODAY and at MIDWEEK OASIS.

You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes