Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring sanctified

9:06 p.m. Today's project was to give God thanks for all that this season means to me as a Christian.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of visiting with author Ellen Estillai, at the Canyon Crest Car Wash while we waited for our cars to be finished. Even though it's located right down the hill from us,  I hadn't been there since my kids were little and Steve was working long hours. The Jeep needed more than an external machine washing, so there I was, having handed out lipstick samples to her and another lady in the  waiting room.

We were commenting on the cold breeze that suddenly came up, and so Ellen said, "It's probably warmer sitting on the benches in the sun!" so out we went. When the topic of our grown children graduating from North High School came up, we laughed a bit that we'd been neighbors for over 20 years and had never met. When we told each other our names, she said, "Dana Kruckenberg! From School Board! I knew I should have recognized you," in the most positive way. (Makes one realize and appreciate that the public service God called me to was not in vain).   Our conversation just flowed along, and she mentioned that she was in the editing phase of a book, and so we had even more in common. I quickly explained that Galatians was a Bible study workbook, and that the Corner Bookstore in the Towne Center was carrying it on consignment under "Local Authors."  But the background of her book was genuinely fascinating to me, so I listened with rapt attention, looking for an open door to witness to someone who may not know the Lord. In 32 years, I have learned to trust the Lord, to be ready to give my testimony anywhere, any place,

For God is my King from of
Working salvation in the midst of
 the earth. (Psalm 74:12)

Ellen and her husband, who is Persian, lived in Iran during the reign of the Shah, when the country was very pro-American. Once the Ayatollah Khomeini came into power, it was time to leave. I fully remember the hostage crisis, the weak Carter Administration response, and the immediate release of those hostages when Ronald Reagan took office. I am looking forward to reading a "birdseye view" of those pivotal international events.  In response to my question, she said she is very fluent in Farsi, and that their family keeps Persian traditions. One holiday, coming up next weekend, the same time as our Easter, features a special feast at what I gather is the exact time of the Vernal Equinox (spring), 4 a.m. this year. Their feast includes a special fried fish and rice. Her kids, now in their 40's, will be coming home to join their parents. We both agreed that what brings joy to us moms is that our kids be happily married, which four of mine are, praise God.

Ellen didn't mention any religious observance. The Jews, on the other hand, celebrate Passover worldwide, commemorating the Angel of Death "passing over" the Hebrew slaves in Egypt as he killed the firstborn of each Egyptian household. Exodus 12:23-24:

For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

Jesus Himself celebrated all of the religious feasts, as an observant Jew in His earthly life. Luke 22:7-8 says,

Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover [lamb] must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."  Jesus' last Passover meal became the first Communion service, as He said to His disciples, v. 19-20:

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and  said, "This is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying,"This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."

This Sunday, Christians will celebrate Palm Sunday, when Jesus made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion. Spring means the birth of a new season, a renewal and awakening of the elements of life on earth. But believers commemorate the New Covenant--Jesus' blood shed for our salvation, and His resurrection for our new life, the promise of eternal life!

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