Tag Archives: Jesus

He Could Have Said No……

Jesus Christ could have said no.  He could have simply decided He was not going to die on the cross in order that we may have redemption and forgiveness.  This is something that is and has been an obvious point, yes?  So, why is it that I bring it up?  I bring it up because He could have said no.  And I really realized this for the first time today.  He could have said no not only to being crucified but to the entire ordeal as well.  Think about this for it is no small thing.  Jesus Christ left His ethereal surroundings to come down here.  He left an environment that was perfection and gave up immortality to come down here as a mortal.  And He did this knowing full well what He was walking into.  And I am not talking about His imminent death right now.  I speak of His becoming as you and I, subject to hunger and exhaustion.  He would suffer the temptations of anger and impatience just as we do, as well as a host of other desires as well, good and bad.  Jesus would feel the cold of the night and the extreme heat of the day.  All that was good in His home above would be replaced by all that we live with on a daily basis.  Yet He chose to do so that we may have the choice and opportunity of real Life.  Quite amazing stuff when you really examine the sacrifice Christ made for you and I.

What is directing my thoughts this evening is a movie entitled “The Passion of the Christ”, directed by Mel Gibson.  It has been out for a few years already but I had never watched it before because quite frankly, I did not want to.  I had heard that the account given in the movie was not only graphic but was also very accurately portrayed overall.  It is safe to say that this movie was avoided by yours truly.  However, I happened to be in Best Buy today and there it was.  The Passion of the Christ on BluRay sitting in the bargain bin for $7.99.  And admittedly, that is a very poor reason for buying a movie such as this.  There was a small part of me that was curious enough to watch it, of course which is I suppose the reason for my purchase.  Besides, the worst case scenario was that I could always hit Stop on the remote if it was too difficult to watch.

Friends, it was difficult and painful to watch.  The dialogue in this movie was presented in Aramaic and Latin while being subtitled in English which really brought one into the movie as opposed to the movie being brought to the individual, if that makes sense.  It opened in the Garden of Gethsemane  with Christ praying to the Father and asking that if possible, to not have to drink from the cup that would soon be placed before Him.  Now, I know my scripture fairly well so I was confident that I would follow the movie in good fashion and I did so.  However, I could not have prepared myself for the depiction of the scourging our Creator received.  I watched as our Lord was whipped and beaten and tossed about like just so much refuse.  I wept as His now human body was ripped open from the cat o’ nine tails and beaten unmercifully with wooden rods as the soldiers administering the beating laughed at Him when He fell.  And as He carried the cross to Golgotha, the crowd jeered while the Roman soldiers continued to lash His broken body with their whips until He fell time and time again while His mother looked on, her eyes filled with tears though her heart knew this was His purpose on this earth.  It was His reason for being here.  And as our Lord breathed His last breath and died on that cross, my heart broke for I know He did that for me and for all who will accept His gift.  I wanted very much to turn this movie off even after 20 minutes into it but found I could not do so.  You see, it is an easier thing to read of this than to see it before you.   My whole life I was told and taught about the sacrifice that Jesus made, His death upon the cross.  And I have always been most grateful that He came to die for the remission of our sins.  Indeed I have.  But this film made His pain and therefore His sacrifice very real to me tonight.  I felt anger towards those who would do this thing to the Son of God while weeping in sadness for what He had to endure so that I might live and live abundantly.  My eyes are full of tears even now for it is just now, this moment that I truly know that I have been remiss in following my own road, the road that has been given me to travel.  I know my purpose and reason for being placed here but have permitted my circumstances to cause me to say “No!”   This is an area that must be put to right, to be sure.  There are no excuses that can justify this either and that goes for myself and us all.  Give this a thought or two for moment, if you will.  Christ came down and was just as we are, a human being with situations and a free will to react to these situations, yes?  He suffered from self-doubt and anguish as well as anger and sadness.  He laughed as we do (or should) and cried as well.  We have Divinity within and so did Christ Jesus.   And He chose to follow the path to His purpose thus embracing who He was and is.  Now I will say that I am not trying to state that we are on equal footing with God for that would be more than nonsensical.  But do remember that Jesus while on Earth was housed in a physical body with the Divine indwelling as are we.  There is one major difference that I would make mention of however because it is a big deal.  Jesus, the Son of God knew that His purpose would culminate in the events portrayed in the movie I spoke of this evening.  And guess what?……..He could have said no!  Given His set of circumstances, I would like to believe that I would have made the choice He made but I would be lying if I said that was the truth for sure.  Still, knowing all the pain ahead of Him and knowing that on the cross, His own Father was not going to be able to look upon His Son who now was carrying the sins of the world, knowing all of this beforehand, Christ chose to say yes.  I am so glad for His decision as I know you are as well.

In closing, I am going to ask you to do as I am doing this evening.  Take a bit of a self-inventory and do some introspection where your Life and Purpose are concerned.  The gifts you have within, those seeds of greatness that have been bestowed upon you?  Do these items simply lie there dormant because you have, for whatever reason decided to say “No!”?  If this be true, then think on this as well please.  What ever it is that is taking precedence over your true Life path is keeping you from the Life of Abundance that is waiting for your arrival.  And I will say that many others who would be blessed by your blessings are being denied as well.  Do give this some thought and once done, move into the direction of Divine Purpose.  Decide to say “Yes!” for that is really all God is waiting to hear.  It is then and only then that He can take your hand as you make that journey together.

Take care with yourselves and those you love.  Blessings coming your way!………

 

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

 

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”  This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs.  I have heard it over and over again yet I never grow tired of it.  It’s message is strong and pure.  But sitting here this evening, it occurred to me that I never took the time to check into how it came about.  So, with my curiosity peaked, I did a little investigating.  This song came to be in 1962 and was a combined effort of Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne.  It was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Regney was inspired to write the lyrics “Said the night wind to the little lamb, “Do you see what I see?” and “Pray for peace, people everywhere” after watching babies being pushed in strollers on the sidewalks of New York City.  So this is how this beautiful song came to be and what the circumstances were, or what served as the backdrop, if you will.  All of this and more can be found on Wikipedia, if you are curious.  I read this and quite honestly, just sat for a while thinking.  I had always just enjoyed hearing this song, often singing along in the pure rapture of the music and what I perceived its message to be.  And of course, the song is indeed about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  But as always, if one looks just a bit further, there is always something more, yes?

In truth, I am sitting here even now and wondering how to proceed with what I intended to write.  I mean, think about this for a moment.  These two people (who were married, by the way) are literally in the midst of what was one of the biggest crisis of that time period.  The threat of nuclear war, one that could take place on our own soil was very, very real.  People everywhere were more than a bit concerned about how this was going to turn out.  I was very young but I was there in 1962.  Too young to realize the magnitude of what was happening but smart enough to know something not very good was going on.  People were fearful and the prospect of panic was not very far away.  This was indeed frightening stuff, my friends.

Obviously however, not everyone reacted with fear.  These two people, the lyricist and the musician, this husband and wife chose to actively do something to try to allay the fears and perhaps change the outcome of this crisis.  Do you think that they just had a Holy boldness in that moment or do you believe that they felt the same fear and trepidation but decided to feel the fear and do it anyway, as the saying goes?  We know the answer to this question, do we not?  They were frightened as badly as anyone else.  Yet they chose to take action and move forward in spite of their fear.  And because they did so, thousands of people back then were comforted and calmed.  It was a message of hope and strength which was so much-needed then.  And that song has sold tens of millions of copies since then and has been performed by hundreds of artists.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The power of words which are given properly at the right time in the proper moment can and will change our world.  Words have done so in the past and will continue to do so today.  And those words my friends, dictate what our future will be.

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”  Does this sound at all familiar to any of you out there?  Of course it does.  So, I would share a few items with you this evening, if I may.  First, choose carefully and wisely your words for they are as feathers in the wind.  They are not easily reclaimed once they have left the safe haven of our heart.  And trust me, they are never forgotten no matter how hard we may try to do so.  Just remember that as humans, we are all fallible.  We all become angry at some point or offended or hurt…..You can fill in the blank here yourself.  The bottom line is when the unfavorable attacks us, we want to react and defend ourselves in some fashion for we feel we have been wronged!  And we react with our what?  Our words and those words can often hurt every bit as much as attacking someone physically.  Actually, wounds caused by a verbal attack do far more damage than almost any physical hurt can cause.  So I ask of you, please think and rethink before you react.  Is there not enough pain in our world to satisfy us yet?

The second thing I would like to speak with you about is….Well, let me just say this.  Do you hear what I hear?  When a statement is made and when words are spoken, do you hear what I hear?  Yes, you do indeed hear what I hear.  Or better said, you hear the same words that I hear.  But your perception of those same words, what you glean from their meaning is almost always different what I or anyone else derives from those words.  I might also add that the emphasis we place on any particular word in a sentence changes the meaning of that statement.  As an example, please be kind and read this sentence  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Okay, easy enough, right?  Now read it once again with emphasis on the word in bold print  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Now again  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Now indulge me a few more times please  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  And then try this  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Or how about  –  I didn’t say he took the money.  Do you see how your perception of the statement changed based on what word has the most emphasis put on it?  As I say, we all hear the same words but in truth we do not because of how our mind perceives those words. This is why we should become well-practiced in the management of that potentially vicious little fellow who resides in our mouth, our tongue.  How is it said?  “Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not be.”  Realize the truth of these words, friends and neighbors.  If what comes out of our mouths is a flow of inconsistency, then how do you think this affects those around us and how then does it ultimately affect this, our world that was given us to care for and manage???  Is it any wonder then that this world of ours is in conflict and confusion? You see, the words we use are to be consistently peaceable and kind and therefore easily entreated by the spirits of those round’ about us.  This is how healing will come upon the Earth.

There are other factors, of course.  Nothing is perfect in an imperfect world.  But it is what we can strive for, what we can become.  And if you wish to place blame for the conditions on our planet somewhere else?  Say, on the shoulders of our leaders perhaps?  Okay, I will give that one to you for that is fair enough.  To those whom we place our faith and confidence in to responsibly make decisions for the welfare of our country and world, we expect more.  To properly serve its citizenry, those who have been given the mantle of leadership are expected to be servants of said citizenry.  But I would ask you this question as well  –  If it becomes a situation where the leaders are no longer acting as the public servants for which they were elected but rather have become servants unto themselves, what then?  The answer there is a simple one but not an easy one.  If they will no longer fulfill properly the position they were entrusted with, then they should be asked to leave that position.  And it is the citizens who elected them, you and I who must hold them accountable for their office.  So you see, we are the ones who are to blame for a lack of leadership in our respective countries and nations.  Because we are the ones who either allow or disallow things to continue as they are, be it good or bad.  It is our job, our responsibility to speak clearly and say our leaders, “Do you hear what we hear?”  So, the good news is that in order to effectively change our world is that it is all up to us.  And the bad news is that in order to effectively change our world it is all up to us.  It’s kind of funny if you think about it.  But it is the truth of it, to be sure.

In closing, I would say that our nation and our world is in turmoil.  That is an irrefutable fact.  There is violence and discord in so many areas of the world.  A good many of us, the majority of us actually,  feel anxious and fearful much of the time.  A sense of foreboding is quite prevalent nowadays.  We seem to be a nation which has lost its way in a world which seems to be spinning out of control.  What are we to do and in which direction do we turn in the midst of our fear?  I believe we know the answer and we know where to begin already.  You see, back in 1962, there was a lyricist and a musician who were living in a fearful time. I believe we spoke of them earlier this evening, yes?  And in response to their fear, did they withdraw and run away, hoping desperately that someone would step up and do something?  No, they did not as you already know.  Instead they took a stand and used the gifts and abilities they were born with and wrote a song that affected the masses then and still blesses millions today.  “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Well my friend, do you hear it?  The winds of change are blowing now.  And please do remember that our words carry much power, power that can and will bring about a different outcome than what has been set forth.  Will you now step up with me and greet those winds head on with a grand expectation and the confident hope for a better tomorrow?  And be not afraid for fear is indeed the real enemy of our spirit.  Come, let us bring about change in our world for it is our world after all.  What do you say?  Do you hear what I hear?

I do apologize if I have kept you longer than usual.  As I have mentioned, most often when I write something I don’t know where it is going.  I simply follow what flows through my fingertips.  I truly hope this has been worthy of your time this evening.  I speak of our being able to effect change because I am led to do so.  And I believe I am led to do so because we can, through a collective effort bring our world back into balance, if you will.  But to do so, we must become accountable to ourselves and more importantly, we must become accountable as well to all those who share this Earth with us.  I pray for blessing and goodness upon us all.  If you find these words worthy, please pass them along.  I thank you for your attention.  Take care with yourselves.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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A Letter Towards Love

Dearest reader, my post this evening is of a different sort as you will see.  There are many out in our world who are alone and living in a quiet pain, a pain of the worst sort imaginable.  They are alone in their heart and alone in their Life.  And loneliness bares its cold soul in a number of ways.  One cannot truly know the empty pain of loneliness until one has been truly alone.  It is a thing I would wish upon no one for those afflicted become broken within.  I will tell you my friend, that I was hesitant to present this for the subject makes many uncomfortable.  But it is also important for we all know someone who is indeed alone.  I would implore you to reach out to hearts that are burdened so.  Please do!  What follows here is an attempt to show you one of the faces of this Life stealing disease. And there are many more, believe me.  I chose to describe this “face of loneliness” because for one to paint an accurate picture, one needs to be familiar with the colors being used.  I have lived this particular “face”, if you will.  I gave more than just a passing thought to writing this for it is a closed-door for me now.  There are always parts of our past we do not wish to recollect.  To do so can often cause one to relive certain things, yes?  This was not easily entreated by my heart, to be sure.  In the same moment, too many suffer lonely hearts and empty spirits today.  This requires the attention of us all which is why I put myself aside for a bit of time and took a look at what lay beyond that closed-door in my heart.  And yes, tears were shed as these memories again ravaged my spirit and held hostage my mind.  For I found my letter towards love from not so long ago………….

Oh Lord, my heart is so tired and alone it seems.  I know You are with me, that You reside in my heart.  And for this, I truly give thanks.  But so often, my heart aches and yearns for a special someone with which to share my Life.  I have much to give for You have given much to me.  And for this, I also give much thanks.  I know you are my Source and the Supplier of my Life.  That is why I feel almost traitorous when I say that I wish for and need something more.  I long to be touched and to touch another in return.  My soul cries out for this to be so.  I do not speak of simple lust.  In this world, that could be easily remedied, were I to choose that road.  That type of behavior does not lie within me.  I speak rather of a physical contact where true love is at its core, where hearts and spirits are shared and become as one.  This is my desire, one born of a season too long empty and dry.  My soul is often tortured for the lack of the Life-giving waters of a love freely given.

The vessel that is my heart ran aground long ago and seems to be buried now in the sands of loneliness.  Our hearts, our spirits were designed to sail upon Love’s ocean, unfettered and with Hope reflecting upon the horizon.  It is how our soul is sustained.  I fear love will not again find me on this desert island which goes unseen day upon day upon lonely day.  It seems there is no escaping the dark soul that is this place for I have tried and often.  The strength within my spirit and my soul is diminishing so my attempts to escape are not as frequent these days.  Prudence whispers quietly that I must conserve what is left in hopes of a rescue.  This idea seems real enough still.  So I wait. Even as Life’s light begins to dim, I wait.  And I hope.

My Lord Jesus, what is to become of me??  What of my heart and its need for love??  It is You who placed these needs, these desires within me.  Why do You turn Your Face from me now?  It is more than I can bear, this void that steals away my Life.  I do not fear Death.  There are days when I would bid Death welcome, if only this pain would die with me.  What I do fear is this existence which seems to have wrapped tightly its cold, unfeeling arms around me, slowly breaking my heart.  Life’s breath eludes me so often now and the Spirit that indwells me is malnourished, the result of my diminished capacity to breathe.  The world becomes dark as does my tired heart which seems to beat ever slower with each passing day.  Even still, I wait.  And I hope.

Do not leave me here, I pray thee, My Lord.  I have not yet given up hope that the fire I keep alive on Desolation’s shore will be noticed by one who is also looking to be touched in Love.  Should this come about, I would without hesitation attempt to swim out beyond the breakers that best me, unmindful of the dangers lurking below.  It would be better to die in a valiant effort to reach Love’s touch than to continue this pain of isolation.

I should tell you, Lord that I am not and would not consider violating the gift of Life You have so freely given unto me.  Life is a sacred thing, a living thing and for me to cut short that gift is blasphemous, a slap in the face of God and nothing less.  I am just so tired now.  We were not meant to live solitary lives. To be alone and without love is in direct conflict with the nature in which we were created.  There are those who would say they need no one save themselves.  I would suggest that perhaps they are deceiving themselves so as to avoid the risk involved when one loves another with their whole heart.  Or perhaps they have been blessed with a strength that I do not possess.  I do not know that answer and my heart has become tired in the course of my writing this letter to you, my Lord and Creator of my Life.  All I do know is that I felt it important to put pen to paper today, the anniversary which celebrates four years almost to the day, the day that I was cast onto this lifeless island where I remain a prisoner.

Lord, I pray that You read these words and attend to my prayers.  Please respond as my heart is fading now.  I anxiously await Your reply…..

Yours in faith believing,

Anonymous, for You know Your children as by their name……

Author William J. Thompson, Jr.

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