Esther’s Circle – Dinner & Conversation

Tonight I had the privilege of meeting with 7 of my Esther’s Circle group of women from ACC for dinner at Charbonos. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with one another and engaged delightful conversation. Unfortunately, due to last-minute changes by the restaurant we were unable to share our “Star Words” and Lenten journeys with one another. I had prepared a short presentation and expressed to the ladies I would write my thoughts down and send them a copy. Our church is reading “Following the WAY” (Fellowship of Prayer 2018 Lent Devotional) from “The Bethany Fellows” In addition I am writing and sharing another Lenten devotional called “The Sanctuary For Lent 2018” by Katie Z. Dawson.

Today’s text for “Fellowship of the WAY” is John 11:45-57 “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life. Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.”
Fear vs. Faith: The chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. They were filled with “FEAR” not faith, not a fulfillment of the scriptures. Fearful that their status would be affected they conspired to kill Jesus and convince the Jewish people it was the wish of the people to have him executed. Fear and power takes up so much space in our minds, it crippled us; however, there is hope! Faith in Jesus frees us to be open and available to do God’s work. Faith to walk where God leads, that’s life altering!

The Sanctuary For Lent text for today was Luke 4:1 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”
What I love about this Lenten study is the “Wilderness” theme throughout the entire study. For me it is in direct correlation of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. I am in no way comparing myself to Jesus and the trials and temptations He encountered while in the wilderness. It’s the daily reconciling that we, the reader are seeing glimpses of Jesus. I would even go as far as to say, it’s almost liminal space. For some reason I have this idea in my mind of looking through plastic wrap/saran wrap; I can sort of see the other side but it’s somewhat blurry. I’m not quite there yet but daily the view is becoming clearer and thinner. It also makes me think of a favorite verse of mine, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” ~1 Corinthians 13:12

~Blessings and Peace~