Dying, and Behold, We Live

Well, hello there. My name is Melissa. I used to be around here some. Forgive me for the awkward intrusion. This is less of an essay or a blog post and more like sharing some disjointed sentence-fragments I scribbled down this morning. I hope you don’t mind. Sometimes when I have the most in my heart, I am least able to write. But I guess I just wanted to write something, you know? You see, like the colors of spring, the beauty of Jesus is taking me again by surprise this Holy Week. Each Holy Week I wonder if the climactic narratives about Jesus will finally this time, this year, hit me flat. But they don’t. They seize me again.

Jesus seizes me.

I grew up in a Baptist church. My most vivid memories of the Easter season are from Palm Sunday, the big green palms and the choir decked in long white robes. And the hymns. But then I don’t remember much of anything between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday. Now, that could say more about me than it does my church tradition. Memory is a funny thing, isn’t it? (Also, I wasn’t paying that much attention.)

Several years ago now I got the opportunity to spend some time studying with teachers and students from other Christian denominations. I think often about words I first read those years ago from Walter Brueggemann. He said that the final three days of Passion (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) “must not be homogenized but must be kept discreet and distinctive, each for its own weightiness” (Brueggemann reviewing Alan E. Lewis’ Between Cross and Resurrection). For the first time, I learned to slow down and carefully take my time walking through Holy Week. My friends taught me to contemplate what the cross of Christ meant on its own terms, to confront the violence in my own heart on Good Friday. To feel the utter despair of dashed hopes and dreams on Holy Saturday. They introduced me to thinkers such as Paul W. Meyer who said things like: “We need sometimes to think about the crucifixion of Jesus as if there had been no resurrection just so that we might understand what the resurrection itself meant for those early Christians” (“The This-Worldliness of the New Testament” by Paul W. Meyer). Thinkers like Meyer forced me to tarry in front of Christ’s cross before rushing to that refrain so familiar to me, “Sunday’s coming!”

I’m currently finishing a wonderful book called A Glorious Dark by A.J. Swoboda (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014). Swoboda argues that Christian faith must enter all three days of the long weekend: “we must embrace the pain of Friday’s sunset, the awkwardness of Saturday’s silence, and the hopeful sunrise of Sunday morning.” Swoboda suggests that most of us, rather than entering the whole weekend, are selective about the one day we want to experience. Swoboda says that this picking and choosing creates three incomplete “knock-off” versions of Christianity:

“Friday Christianity is the religion of those who’ve chosen to find their identity in a spirituality of defeat, death, and loss. Their spiritual depth abides solely in the torment of the suffering on the cross . . . Sunday Christianity is equally problematic. These chipper, slick, ever-too-happy Christians see God in, and only in, victory, prosperity, and blessing . . . Sunday Christianity dismisses the realities of death and loss . . . Saturday Christianity is for those of us who’ve come to consider doubt and ambiguity as final destinations rather than conduits through which we actually enter into resurrection. When we celebrate only Holy Saturday, we believe, in our doubt and questioning, that we have permission to be cynics and deconstructionists—and that everyone should sit in our graves with us.”

I think Swoboda is right about this tendency. I can certainly see it in myself and I think I can see it in others around me too.  Even if I have learned to journey a little slower through Holy Week, to take each day on its own, at heart I have mostly just been a Holy Saturday Christian, I think. Swoboda helped me see that about myself and made me long for more.

Few Christian thinkers conceive of how the death of Jesus and the resurrected life of Jesus co-exist in the Christian as creatively as the apostle Paul. Paul writes to the Corinthians:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Cor. 1.8-10 ESV)

And Paul continues a few chapters later:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Cor. 4.8-12 ESV)

Paul not only speaks of sharing in Jesus’ sufferings, he also speaks of sharing in his comfort (2 Cor. 1.3-6). Most stunning is how Paul articulates his apostolic ministry. He describes it as an experience akin to death for him but he says that it renders life in the ones whom he serves. So death is at work in us, but life in you. This absolutely takes my breath away.

Bringing someone else life can feel a lot like dying.

We love to be with people who are “life-giving,” right? We use this phrase often. But we grow weary of being the life-giving ones, because, frankly, it requires a whole lot of dying that we don’t want to do. Because it hurts a lot. Because it goes against everything in the depths of us most of the time. We quickly tire of being the ones who are pouring ourselves out. We want people to get their crap together, to stop being so draining. But if we carry Jesus’ death in our own bodies, if we pour out all we have, if we die to our own selfishness, our own agendas, we will gain everything. The life of Jesus of Nazareth will be made manifest in our mortal flesh, Paul says.

A few days ago I read a sermon by Rowan Williams called “Into Daylight” from Easter Morning, 2004 (see Choose Life; London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013). I thought it was incredibly beautiful and worth sharing an excerpt here with you. Williams says:

“If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, you are not just believing an odd fact from two thousand years ago; you are trusting that there is a kind of life, a kind of love and trust and joy that is the very essence of Jesus’ identity which is now coming to life in you. As it comes to life, you begin to know that no amount of pressure and stress and suffering in your life has power in itself to break the bond that has been created between you and Jesus’ life and activity. You are alive with a fuller and deeper life than just your own. Your resources are more than you could ever have imagined. Jesus rises from the dead so as to find not only his home in heaven but his home in us. He rises so that we may rise out of the prisons of guilt, anxiety, self-obsession or apathy that so constantly close around us. But for this to happen, says St Paul, we have to go on, day after day, getting used to parts of us dying, just as Jesus died: we have to get used to the beloved habits of self-serving and self-protecting being brought into the light that shines from Jesus’ face and withering away in that brightness. That’s why Paul says that Christians go around with both death and life at work in their lives—always trying to let the light of Jesus kill off these sick and deadly habits, always letting the new life that is ours but so much more than ours shine through” (Rowan Williams, Choose Life).

Friends, I wish you and all the ones you love a most meaningful and sacred weekend reflecting on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. From him and through him and to him are all things. “For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them” (2 Cor. 5.14-15 NRSV).


212 Responses to “Dying, and Behold, We Live”

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  1. 1
    Tombeaudry says:

    Thank you for sharing, your insight is most refreshing! God bless you.

  2. 2
    Amberley says:

    Thank you for this, Melissa. You’ve given me some beautiful things to think about this weekend. I’ve missed hearing from you on the blog.

    Love and prayers.

  3. 3
    Pam Burkham says:

    Precious Melissa,

    So jubilant to hear from you again. You are so precious to us Siestas and especially to our Jesus. He loves every bit of you so much.

    I pray this is the most meaningful Easter season you have ever had.

    Hugs and Blessings Abound,

  4. 4
    Mar Ellen Krivonen says:

    Mary Elen in Laurel, MT

    “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Cor. 4:16 NIV

  5. 5
    Allison Ashton says:

    Beautifully written, Melissa. I was struck with this line, “to confront the violence in my own heart on Good Friday.” So much to ponder here.

    • 5.1
      Melissa says:

      Thanks, Allison. Always wonderful to hear from you. Sending you much love this afternoon and hope you’re enjoying this nice day. Grace and peace.

  6. 6
    Ann Medford says:

    Ann Medford, Sunset, Tx
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Phillipians 3:12 NIV

  7. 7
    Carolyn says:

    Beautiful! Loved seeing this pop up a few moments ago as I was about to leave the blog. I’ll be reflecting on this this weekend.

    • 7.1
      Melissa says:

      Awww, thanks Carolyn. It is always so great to hear from you. All the love to you Litfins this weekend. Thanks for being you. Happiest Easter, friend.

  8. 8
    Gwyn Tidwell says:

    What a relief! Ministry can seem so hard at times that it feels like the blood is running out of my body & I wonder if this is what He intends me to do. What a joy to know it is a resounding YES! It is sharing in his death so that we and those to whom we minister may also share in the life. Praise Him! Thank you for the good word, my friend.

  9. 9
    amybhill says:

    Melissa! I missed you! Thank you for this. I related most to what you took from A Glorious Dark. I’m pushing through something that I know will have a resurrection on the other side… I’m just waiting for it. At the same time, I want to experience all that God has to show me in each phase of this (both in Holy Week and in my life). Your writing today gave me fresh hope. God bless you & please visit us on here more often! I’m no longer on twitter so I really miss hearing from you and Amanda…

    • 9.1
      Melissa says:

      Hey Amy, I hear exactly what you are saying re: experiencing all God has to show you in this phase. Beautiful words. Saying a prayer for you now that whatever you are waiting for is more than you could even imagine. He is beautiful and faithful. Grace and peace.

  10. 10
    Michelle Baylerian says:


    You’ve given me much to ponder. I became aware of how to approach the Holy Weekend only a few yrs ago. It allows us not to jump from Good Friday, sad and all to Happy Easter. There is an inbetween most miss. With much reflection, then on Sunday, we can truly say HAPPY EASTER!! Celebrate what a life giving gift Jesus gave us. May you & your family enjoy a joy filled Easter!

    With much love,


    • 10.1
      Melissa says:

      Michelle, thank you so much for reading along and your kind words. You are such a generous person. Wishing you and yours a tremendously blessed Easter weekend. MM.

  11. 11
    alyssa says:

    Melissa, what great things to contemplate! I think I have had seasons being each of the type of Christians. I am inspired to live the agony of Friday, the cold reality of Saturday, and the glorious hope of Sunday. This is my favorite time of year, and what a beautiful reminder to take the time to experience it. May Jesus seize me this weekend as well! Blessings!!!!

  12. 12
    Mary Beth says:

    Thank you Melissa, for sharing these challenging and inspiring words from your heart. May you experience Easter filled with the joy that only He can give us!

  13. 13
    Michele says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! (I love your version of “disjointed”)

  14. 14
    Pam in San Diego says:

    This was rich in descriptions, Melissa. Thank you for putting pen to what I’ve been trying to be aware of all week….take time to read and remember the Cross from Friday till Sunday…thank you for the quotes .

  15. 15
    Sister Lynn says:

    Dearest Melissa,

    It’s funny – you came to mind this afternoon as I sat in our chapel and listened to the reading of the Passion of Christ. The thought flitted through my mind… I should invite Melissa to spend the Triduum with us next year. And then… to read this post make me want you to come even more.

    I love these sacred solemn days. Tarrying at the cross, fretting in the upper room with the disciples… recognizing the terror, the sadness, the confusion that must have reigned. They deepen our appreciation for the joy of Easter.

    Anyway… I am so glad you decided to share your musings with us!

    with love, Sister Lynn

    P.S. I am serious about inviting you for the Triduum next year.

    • 15.1
      Melissa says:

      Sister Lynn, I dare you to invite me for the Triduum next year. I would love that! I would cherish that forever, I know. I am sending my love to you all. You are a gift. Thanks for the person you are and your sacrifice and devotion to our Lord. Hope this weekend is special and meaningful and beyond. Love, Melis

  16. 16
    Andrea says:

    I have SO missed your voice on this blog…your words are always so beautiful and insightful…I am desperately hoping you will write a book or Bible study. You have a unique gift from the Lord and so much to offer us all.

    • 16.1
      Melissa says:

      Andrea, thank you so much for your generous encouragement. These words were sweet to my heart. Hope you are having a wonderful, holy weekend. Love, MM.

  17. 17
    Allison Ashton says:

    Melissa, I am comging back to re-read again. I wish this were a pamplet so I could have in hand or in my iphone!! It will be here when I need to read again.

  18. 18
    Nitsa says:

    YOU ARE BACK!! Thank God. I’ve missed your insightful, thought provoking writing. Welcome back. Hope this is the first of many more.

    • 18.1
      Melissa says:

      Hi, Nitsa! Thank you for your kind welcome. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and see you again soon. MM.

  19. 19
    Kathy Burrus says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Hello right backatcha! I also used to frequent this wonderful blog site, but have fallen from the purer faith. Not really. Just spending less time on social media-for better or worse. Believe it or not, I specifically came here this evening hoping for a word from you 🙂 I still remember a few Holy Week’s ago when you had a post about Maundy Thursday, and I’ve been forever changed…I hope. As you suggested, I have since then tried to take my time, reading, meditating, praying, thinking my way through this most blessed and awful of all weeks. My thanks.

    And today’s post was chocked full with more helpful insights and more books (and sermons) to add to my reading list. But the part I think I appreciated the most was about the rest of the day. After a lovely, contemplative quiet time with tremendous meaning…life still had to be lived. Among those who don’t “have their crap together,” and continue to be quite a drain. And it would seem, surprisingly enough, that I had some dying to do today. To myself. How uncomfortable. And appropriate. So once again, thanks Melissa. I’m so glad we both showed up here.

    • 19.1
      Melissa says:

      Kathy, Your words hit me somewhere deep. You said so much in just these few sentences. I’m glad we both showed up here, too. And you’re right. Life still had to be lived. We will go on dying and so living. Thank you. My best, MM.

  20. 20
    Mary G. says:

    Dear Melissa,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I had been thinking recently I sure do miss hearing from Melissa and Amanda on here from time to time, and I open the blog and here you are. What a wonderful surprise!
    I love the deep thinker that you are. Everything you share so thought provoking. The part that hit me right between the eyes was imagining what it would have felt like had there been no resurrection. That just makes my soul ache. It makes what Mary Magdalene, the disciples what they felt in those days following the crucifixion so much more real. It moves my heart with such compassion. That perspective I had never thought of. Thank you.
    Would you mind if I share what has been rolling around in my thoughts as Easter approaches? I always looked down my nose at Judas. I think even hated him for being the villan that betrayed Jesus. I heard on TV someone talking about how Judas had given up on himself, but God had not given up on him. It got me to thinking – Judas must have thought that God could not forgive him. I wondered what if Judas hadn’t committed suicide? I would like to think Jesus would have sought Judas out. If Judas was able to receive the forgiveness of the Savior that had just died for him, and taken Him at His word, could there have been a more beautiful redemption story? Or a more wonderous testimony of a life truly changed? Realizing I am no better than Judas. To look down my nose at Judas is nothing more than foolish pride. I am just a sinner saved by grace. I pray we will all remember even in our darkest moments there is a Savior that is reaching out to us, and never gives up on us. Sorry this was so long. Hope you don’t mind me sharing. Blessings to you.

    • 20.1
      Mary, Nova Scotia says:

      Dear Mary G.:
      Thank you for your insights about Judas. You really gave me something to think about: if he hadn’t taken his own life, Jesus would most likely seek him out and forgive him, then Judas would have become a person of inspiration for all of history. Wow!

      Dear Melissa: add me to the growing list of those who were thrilled to see you on here again. When I got to the end of your post, I actually felt a wave of sadness that it was over. You’re like E.F. Hutton (from the old tv ad). It said, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen.”

    • 20.2
      Melissa says:

      Mary, thank you so much for your kindness and for sharing the thoughts you have been thinking, too. I think a lot about Judas as well and appreciated your perspective. I hope you have a sweet and meaningful Easter weekend. Love, MM.

      • Mary G says:

        Dear Melissa,
        Hope you don’t mind, but just wanted to tell you – your wish for Easter came true for me in the most wonderful way. Tears filling my eyes at the sweetness of the blessing God gave. I went to church this morning and of course heard a wonderful sermon by my beloved Pastor.(He took over for my former Pastor John Piper when he retired.) The church this morning was packed and couldn’t find a place to sit, and when I finally did the person sitting next to me touched my arm and said Mary. I couldn’t believe it when I looked into the eyes of a most beloved friend I had lost touch with and hadn’t seen in 10 yrs! Only God could have orchestrated that! The presence of Jesus while the word was being spoken I could feel from my head to my toes. I just listened to I’ve seen Jesus. If God blesses me anymore today I think I will burst! I just wanted to share, I hope you don’t mind. I hope God fills your heart to overflowing this Easter day as He has mine. Much love to you. Mary Gegare

  21. 21
    Laurie O says:

    Ah, Melissa, so good to hear from you again. I LOVED the reminder to SLOW DOWN this weekend and enjoy each day of this holy holiday for its own special reason. Thank you!

    • 21.1
      Melissa says:

      Thank you for reading, Laurie. May the Lord bless you and keep you this holy weekend. Grace and peace, MM.

  22. 22
    Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’m listening God!

  23. 23
    Linda R says:

    Welcome back, Melissa. I’ve missed you! Love the “slow down” recommended for this fast-paced world we live in. Thanks for all of your thoughts on this week!

    • 23.1
      Melissa says:

      Thank you for reading the post, Linda. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Holy weekend. Grace and peace, MM.

  24. 24
    Dawn Edgell says:

    Melissa, it was so good to hear from you again on this blog. You have been missed. Thank you for reminding me to stop and examine each day, in and of itself. I am astonished and grateful at how much we can learn from each other when we share our knowledge, experiences, insights and most importantly, our love for Jesus. Truly, He is Risen!!

  25. 25
    Pam Nelson says:

    I think I am voicing what I have read in many other posts…it was so good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing and challenging me to think more deeply about this weekend. I get too busy preparing the meals that I become a Martha (and I don’t want to be too hard on her).
    Just so good the hear from you. I loved your participation in the James study!

    Blessings to you.

    Pam Nelson

    • 25.1
      Melissa says:

      Thank you for your kindness, Pam! I don’t want to be too hard on Martha either 🙂 I like her food. Smiling. Bless you and have a happy Easter! Love, MM.

  26. 26


    You have so eloquently written about things that resonate in my journey, especially the last 6 months. It is mind boggling: that we carry the death of Christ in us so that the life of Christ may be manifested. I think sometimes people see this as a one-time ‘event” that catapulted them into their faith journey. I may be weird but for me, my faith journey has led me to the death of myself over and over so that Christ may be evident in my life. It is such a paradox. I often ask God to empty me of me so that I can receive more of his Spirit. When we are poured out we are filled.

    About 7 or 8 years ago I related to being Barabbas. I couldn’t articulate it very well. This year I see that we are all Barabbas. He was freed, literally. Jesus went to the cross when it was originally going to be him. And me.

    I appreciate your “post”, Melissa. Do you have a blog? I am fairly new to the LPM blog. It started last fall and the study on Thessalonians.

    • 26.1
      Melissa says:

      Hi Terri! I am so glad you are new to the LPM blog after doing Thess. I do not have a personal blog but hopefully I will be writing here more often in the coming days. I like your insight about relating to Barabbas. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing and hope to see you again soon. Happy Easter! ~MM.

  27. 27
    Leanna says:

    For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 KJV

  28. 28
    Stephanie Jo says:

    Wow I will be coming back to this!!! Thanks so much for being willing to share!

  29. 29
    Marie says:

    Melissa, I love you and I love how you love Jesus. Thank you for reminding us to stand in both the Cross and the Resurrection.

    • 29.1
      Melissa says:

      Marie, thank you for your kind words. I love you as well and love keeping up with you and watching you keep on. He who promised is faithful. All my best, girl. ~MM.

  30. 30
    Angela Larson - Puzzlepiecesista says:

    Dear Melissa,

    We who have been around “Siestaville” since the beginning days truly miss you and your contemplative deep thinking style, miss it and you very much….you bring and have brought so much to us thru this blog….at times I miss the intimacy of those early days here….”Hisfivefooter” and I attended Good Friday service tonight and having read what you had to share here today prior to going to service, it gave me a lot more to chew on and to ponder. I had a deeper perspective in my heart tonight as I entered into our church service.

    Lisa and I were talking tonight at church about the unique insights you glean and we admire and appreciate it so very much! You always leave us with so much and we are better for it, so thank you.

    Growing up Catholic and attending CCD classes weekly, while also being an alter server with the Priest during Mass, I recall with such tender fondness “Holy Thursday” and “Good Friday service where we would do The Stations of The Cross. It meant a great deal to worship along side my Priest, “Father Jon Frankovic” and it gave me a deep, deep connection to the liturgical side of the Catholic Faith and Christianity as a whole. One of the great things about growing up Catholic was the importance of the “Season of Lent” and how it really helped prepare my heart for the Easter Season as a whole. To this day there is still such an emotional attachment I feel to Holy Week, largely because of the important emphasis the Catholic Church placed on this Holiest of weeks. I am so grateful to my family of origin for the gifts I received growing up in that environment. It taught me a great deal about sacrifice and what the truly looks like.

    I am no longer a practicing Catholic, yet deep down I feel as though a part of me will always feel a part of them no matter where I serve and attend church, most especially at Easter!
    Okay, I’ve blabbed on too long and I’m sorry, it’s just really nice to be in touch with you again on the blog, so thanks again for your surprise visit!! I loved it and you!!!!

    Have a Blessed and Happy Easter dear friend! Thanks for inspiring me today!!!

  31. 31
    Leah Adams says:

    I, too, was raised Baptist, and Easter Sunday was the total focus for us, with a significantly smaller emphasis on Good Friday. It was not until I left home to go to college, attending a Methodist-based college, that I realized there was significance in the rest of Passion week. Over the years, I have embraced Passion week in total and it is good. Very good. Thank you for this beautifully written, thoughtfully crafted post. It is a lovely reminder of the significance of each day of Passion Week.

    • 31.1
      Melissa says:

      Thanks for reading, Leah, and for sharing some of your own words. Bless you. Have a wonderful rest of this sacred weekend. Love, MM.

  32. 32
    Tammy says:

    Melissa, what a blessing to have you speaking into our hearts for Jesus again. Your writing always so touches me whether on the blog or in your Bible Study writings you do with your Mom. Just starting the Bible Study Breath. Thank you for all you do to walk with us through and brighten the fire in our hearts for Jesus. May you and your family have a blessed Easter.

    • 32.1
      Melissa says:

      Thank you, Tammy! And thanks so much for reading along with us in the Breath series. Blessings to you and yours this sacred weekend. Love, MM.

  33. 33
    Pam says:


  34. 34
    Tammy says:


    Great having you on the blog again, love the things you share on Twitter too

  35. 35
    Joretta Windham says:


    Thank you for sharing this. You not only gave me something deep to ponder and pray about this season, but you so poignantly summed up the folly of letting our minds settle on just one aspect of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Thank you for the references. I have some homework to do!!

    Blessed Easter to you and yours.

    • 35.1
      Melissa says:

      Thank you for your gracious words, Joretta. Grace and peace to you and yours this weekend. ~MM.

  36. 36
    Kristi says:

    Oh, how beautiful! I so much needed to read this today.

    And Melissa, welcome back. You’ve been missed.

  37. 37
    Debbie Wahlbrink says:

    Thank you so much for sharing on the blog – have missed you on here. I have re-read several parts of your entry – the paragraph that most resonates with me is the one after you state “Bringing someone else life can feel a lot like dying.” Feeling exhausted with caring for and trying to protect my elderly father who is making unwise choices but wants to be in control and can be mean about it. Has been going on for a long time. Your entry comforts and encourages me. I pray for the life of Jesus to be manifest in my mortal flesh. Thank you again. Love and prayers.

    • 37.1
      Melissa says:

      Debbie, I cannot imagine how hard caring for your father is, especially under the conditions that you described. I pray God is so near you and blesses you for your faithfulness to Him. Do not lose hope. All my best, MM.

  38. 38
    Beverly Nalley says:

    I have been a Christian since a child and I have taken bible studies, including many of yours, for years. Recently I have been studying bible prophesy. Considering the current political position of America in regards to world affairs and to our own lack of morality (gay marriage, abortion, living together before marriage, decline of Ciristian rights, etc., etc.), I want to know what we as Christians can do to stop this Trend and get back to the Christian values we had in the 50’s and 60’s when I was a child. I know praying for and writing to our elected leaders is important but we need some fast track activism. We have been silent to long. I know there are thousands of others out there that feel as I do. Help! What is your suggestion and that of your followers? Bev

  39. 39
    Kim says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us Melissa. Written perfectly for me at this point in my life. Thanks for being led by the Spirit to share it.

  40. 40
    Martha Adams says:

    Thank you Melissa. I was not raised in a Christian home but, accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in my mid 30’s. Even in a secular environment we celebrated Easter. We focused totally on Sunday. I now realize as a Christian how much pain and sorrow He had to go through for us, should we not also expect the same? Sometimes it is so very hard to “carry” the cross Christ has asked me to bear. I let Him down a lot and ask for His love and mercy to make it through.Thank you for encouraging others to follow Him and our prize is always before us. God Bless you

  41. 41
    Paula says:

    Thank you for this post. I was very heart warming and life giving.

  42. 42
    Gwen from Ohio says:

    A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand , but it will not come near you. Psalm 91:7 (NIV)

  43. 43
    Tanya Smith says:

    Thanks Melissa. Always enjoy your posts a lot! It is draining being life giving. But its the ONLY way to LIVE if God has given you life. 🙂 Thanks for the commentary by Paul. I’d not considered this view before. And I’ve never know quite what to make of Saturday. “Holy Saturday.” I’ve called it “Sad Saturday.” One Saturday in all of time where hope was GONE. Hmmm.

    Have a good weekend too.

  44. 44
    Jana Dominguez-Peuker says:

    Jana Dominguez-Peuker Troy, Kansas Max Lucado Devotional Bible

    Ephesians 2:10 “God has made us what we are. In Jesus Christ, God made us to do good works,which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.”

  45. 45
    Debbie Scherrer says:

    Thanks for sharing! I was looking for a read – something more- so this fit perfectly.

  46. 46
    Bethany says:

    You have been missed greatly on this blog! I was so excited to log into FB this morning and see a message that you had posted here. I just want to let you know that I have been thinking of you and praying for while you’ve been silent here. I know life has been hard and it has been beautiful to “see” you heal (twitter).
    I love what you said here and the quotes that you shared. Holy week is one that I feel I have the greatest expectations with my faith. I want Jesus to whack me over the head with awe and amazement and always want to “feel” more. Sometimes I just feel numb. I think that maybe I too identify with Swoboda’s description of the Saturday Christian. The part that killed me was that we want others to sit in our graves with us…..ouch! I nurse my doubts and fears far too much and I want others to validate them, I even have the nerve to get irritated with my sisters in Christ who try to encourage me. This year I have tried to focus a little more on experiencing the whole weekend. I quickly jump to the resurrection of Sunday but live in the hopelessness of Saturday. The pain of Friday just bothers me so that I don’t fully enter into it. I know that I am rambling a bit and that my thoughts are not strung together in any eloquent way but I want you to know that your post affected me so much. It is one that I will have to sit with for a bit! Thank you Melissa.

    • 46.1
      Melissa says:

      Bethany, thank you so much for sharing your heart a bit here. I resonated with a lot of what you said. I pray that God imparts much hope, joy, and peace into your heart this weekend. My best to you, girl. MM.

  47. 47
    Bonnie Richburg says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. I am sitting here thinking about what kind of Christian I am…am I a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Christian! Have a blessed weekend!

  48. 48
    Lacy says:

    Thank you for the deep thoughts! 🙂 They have given me a deeper understanding of Jesus’ death and resurrection and how to reflect on what has taken place.

    It is always amazing how His living and active Word continues to teach and show us every time we experience it anew. Your thoughts make me want to experience his death and life more fully through death of the selfishness and hope of His power to bring life. Praying for His grace and strength to do so. Thank you for sharing!

    • 48.1
      Melissa says:

      Thank you for reading and your kind response, Lacy! God bless you this weekend and beyond. Grace and peace, MM.

  49. 49
    Heidi McClain says:


    It is wonderful to have you back here at the blog, we’ve missed you! I love each and every person who contributes to this blog, they are each a blessing in so many ways. But you girl, serve us STEAK! You gave me a wonderful musing on this most Holy Week. I shall chewing on what you said today and until Easter. Bless you Woman!


    • 49.1
      Melissa says:

      Hi Heidi! It’s great to see your face again on this blog. Thank you for the sweetness of your words. Grace and peace on this holiest of weekends. Love, MM.

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    Ginny says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It is a new idea for me to think about what it would have been like for the disciples on Saturday. Walter Wangerin, Jr brought this to light in his book Reliving the Passion just before I read your post. He said, “Jesus, Jesus, without you I am a nothing in a nowhere.” So true.
    But I am now so looking forward to celebrating Easter and I loved this quote from the sermon you quoted. “Jesus rises from the dead so as to find not only his home in heaven but his home in us. He rises so that we may rise out of the prisons of guilt, anxiety, self-obsession or apathy that so constantly close around us. But for this to happen, says St Paul, we have to go on, day after day, getting used to parts of us dying, just as Jesus died: we have to get used to the beloved habits of self-serving and self-protecting being brought into the light that shines from Jesus’ face and withering away in that brightness.” May this happen in my life.
    He is risen, He is risen indeed!

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