Jesus blesses the children

I love this painting, the look on Jesus’ face, as he blesses the child.I am intrigued as to what is going through the mind of the boy laid on the ground. What words is Jesus saying that make him appear spellbound.

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The Cock Crowed

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“Following the Denial’

by Chris Higham

The Cocked Crowed

While all this was going on, Peter was down in the courtyard. One of the Chief Priest’s servant girls came in and, seeing Peter warming himself there, looked hard at him and said, “You were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”
He denied it: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He went out on the porch. A cock crowed.
The girl spotted him and began telling the people standing around, “He’s one of them.” He denied it again.
After a little while, the bystanders brought it up again. “You’ve got to be one of them. You’ve got ‘Galilean’ written all over you.”
Now Peter got really nervous and swore, “I never laid eyes on this man you’re talking about.” Just then the cock crowed a second time. Peter remembered how Jesus had said, “Before a cock crows twice, you’ll deny me three times.” He collapsed in tears.     Mark 14:66-72   The Message ”

                                    

As Jesus predicted, Peter denies his association with him. Jesus also predicted the same for all his other disciples, but Mark doesnt narrate their betrayals. Peters is interwoven with Jesus trial, thus contrasting true confessions with false ones. Peters actions are first described at the beginning of the trial, making this a sandwich narrative technique employed so often by Mark.In order to emphasize the faithlessness of Peter, the nature of his three denials increases in intensity each time. First he gives a simple denial to a single maid who claims that he was with Jesus. Second he denies to the maid and a group of bystanders that he was one of them. Finally, he denies with a vehement oath to a group of bystanders that he was one of them.It is worth remembering that according to Mark, Peter was the first disciple called to Jesus side (1:16-20) and the first who confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (8:29). Nevertheless, his denials of Jesus may be the most vehement of all. This is the last we see of Peter in Marks gospel and its unclear whether Peters weeping is a sign of repentance, contrition, or prayer.

This painting  by Chris Higham captures the broken Peter following his denial of his friendship with Jesus. Chris  has  painted  the disciple in as low a position as he can get. Down the steps in an dark alleyway , a desolate Peter his hiding away, crouched in a doorway. His hand against the door stopping him totally collapsing on the ground.

http://www.christian-art.org.uk/cgi-bin/ca.cgi?page=home.html

Betrayed

PENTAX Image

The Last Supper

by

Chris Higham

MAUNDY THURDAY

Most evenings we sit down for a meal with our family and tonight Jesus sits down in the upper room with his disciples who have become his family, his friends, his travelling companions, who have witnessed his miracles, who have heard his teachings but still they did not quite understand. But this wasn’t just a meal, it was to be jesus’ last meal with these friends and he knew it.
For on this very night Jesus will be betrayed by one of his friends, betrayed for 30 pieces of silver but for me the biggest betrayal was that Judas a used of a kiss, a sign of love to identify Jesus.
Before the meal began, Jesus knelt down to wash the disciples feet. This disturbed the disciples as it was the task of the humblest slave, whereas Jesus their master took it upon himself. Jesus got to know the disciples more closely by taking upon himself the role of their servant if you remember he said to them whoever wishes to become great among you, must be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.

In the “old upstairs downstairs” days good servants probably knew a lot more about their Masters mistresses then they let on. This however made them better servants, for by keeping their eyes open they can understand their employers needs and anticipate their demands. Was there something of this in our Lords decision to washes disciples feet? For he told his disciples to become servants of others just has he had become their servant: “if I your Lord and teacher have washed your fee”t he said” you also ought to wash one another’s feet for I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done. And to serve somebody you must learn about them what makes them tick, what their life experiences have been, who they are and how they think of themselves.
It’s very easy for a “do-gooder” to rush in and give someone what they think they need without taking the time to learn from them what they really need. You must get to know them and understand who they think of themselves to be and as we say where they are coming from for this you really need to look at them listen to the town of the voice and you may well learn a lot about them that they would never have been able to put into words themselves.

Jesus calls us to follow his example and to learn our neighbour stories by serving them he calls us to serve our neighbours as he himself served his disciples by washing the messy places in their lives with the love of God. Ask yourself whom Jesus is asking you to serve in all humility today.

TO MY CHILD

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Jesus prays for the little children

I found this prayer whilst clearing my study in preparation for decorating.

To my child

Good morning ,this is GOD

Today I will be handling all your problem.Please remember that I do not need your help.If you encounter a situation you cannot handle,do not attempt to resolve it.Kindly put it in the SFGTD (Something for God to do) box.It will be addresses in MY TIME,not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box,do not hold onto it nor remove it.Holding on or removal will delay the resolution your problem.If it is a situation you think you capable of handling,pleas consult me in pryer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I don’t sleep,nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep.Pleas rest my child.

If you need to contact me,I am only a prayer away.
My prayer line is open 24 hours a day.

I love you and will always be with you wherever you may go.As with all good things,pass on my message.

Love GOD

The   Painting  is by the Christian  artist  CHRIS HIGHAM

Hs work can be seen at  http://www.christian-art.org.uk

Was Mary the first feminist.

Martha and Mary

            MARTHA AND MARY

                  PAINTED   BY

                CHRIS HIGHAM

 

“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

 

Was Mary the first feminist and yes, Martha is vacuuming but did she want to sit a the feet of Jesus as well? and go against convention.

 

Why this picture, well it brings the story to today,                                                        a492b-marymarthacontemp

 
In Jesus time Martha would have been brushing and  today we use a vacuum, but that is where it ends. We still behave the same, always busy, distracted by the tasks of every day life.
Martha is distracted, preparing a meal for Jesus and his followers. she didn’t have the use of the mod cons we have to today ,the microwave or freezer. she couldn’t prepare the meal in advance given the hot climate. food had to be prepared and eaten straight away.
Can you imagine Martha getting more resentful as she works hard and Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, listening to his every word. I wonder is it because she wishes to be sat with Jesus or is it because as a female it is Mary’s duty as a woman to also look after the hospitality? Also Mary had crossed an imaginary line, she was behaving like a man. In that culture the house was divided into male space and female space, and male and female roles were clearly defined and this line shouldn’t be crossed. Mary had crossed it and Martha wasn’t happy. She was so upset that she demanded the Jesus make her sister help with the work.
His reply “Martha dear, you are fussing far too much and getting yourself worked over nothing” But  to Martha it wasn’t nothing, to Martha hospitality was important. After all, it was Jesus in their home and you feed your guest.
What is the first thing we do, we offer and cup of tea or coffee and maybe a biscuit or cake.I wonder would you want Jesus to turn to Mary and say “get up and help, do something”
The second part of Jesus’ reply “one thing only is essential and Mary has chosen it. It is the main course and won’t be taken from her”
Mary had chosen to listen, to take time to hear the words spoken by her guest, to hear his teachings, to contemplate on his words. Mary had gone beyond the business of serving to the service of contemplation.
Martha represents the active, women those who visit, extend hospitality, those who dedicate their time being Gods outward present, leading by example.
Mary a contemplative, stands for all those women who, when they hear Jesus speaking about the kingdom of God, know that God is calling them to listen carefully so that they can speak of it too. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus as his student, as   a would- be teacher and preacher of the kingdom of God.
Both active and contemplative are both important. Without, the first we wouldn’t eat and without the second we wouldn’t worship.
We should work hard ,but not too hard and should remember to to enjoy life that hes been given to us by the grace of God,too feel our place in the spirit. We should do the things we are called to do, no matter how difficult they are. At the centre of of this Mary/Martha or as I read  ying/yang is Jesus our Lord and Saviour – the person we should  spend time with when we can stop ourselves being  busy, for Jesus the reason we live life the way we do.
So was Mary one of the first feminist, I think she should be considered so. She crossed the line; she sat as the men did at the feet of the teacher,as a pupil to learn , as a would be teacher and preacher of the kingdom of God.
 
So what would you do, would you be doing the vacuuming or would leave it for another day and sit at the feet of Jesus. I know what I would do. Are you a Mary or a Martha ?