When Jesus calls us by name, however, it is renewed and restored in our hearts. It is given new life, just as we are. Listen for His voice. He is calling your name.
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His call heals us, frees us, and redeems us forever. And it gives us purpose. I want to know you. Come live in my heart. Forgive me. Help me trust you and believe that you love me. And Jesus, help me love you. Thank you for saving me. If you prayed that prayer for the first time or as a renewal of faith, please leave a comment. We would love to be praying for you. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn't have to destroy the land, but I found no one.
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She was desperate. She could go now. But Mary Magdalene would not find a dead Jesus.
Does that give any of us hope that we can serve God in a mighty way? Bask in His love today. You have been chosen. Have you met the resurrected Jesus? He's only a prayer away. It goes something like this. Find a Local Church Now. Get more than a Sunday sermon. Need Prayer? We are here to help and encourage you! Find Peace with God. Can God change your life? God made it possible for you to know. Discover God's peace now. Get Email Updates. Bible Reading Plans.
Email Updates Bible in a Year. Bible in a Year New Testament. Superbook Family Bible Plan. But as we enter together into the story, I also want to invite you into your own creative relationship with the story itself. Keep your ears open to how each part of the story is speaking uniquely to you. When we listen in this way, this two thousand-year-old mythic journey of Jesus becomes our own journey into ourselves, into the revelation of God within us, into the realization of who and what we really and truly are.
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So how does a spiritual teacher with a Zen Buddhist background get interested in the Jesus story? Well, from the time I can remember, I was fascinated with the Jesus story. As a kid I watched The Ten Commandments and all the other spiritual epics that were on TV and in the movies at that time. Any time I had a piece of paper I would doodle cross signs with big circles around them. When I look back on that, I think that the whole story of Jesus and the image and symbol of the cross was lodged in a deep place in my unconscious; there was something really deep within me that was profoundly interested in this character.
When I was young, maybe eight or nine, my parents decided to take us kids to church for a while. Of course, I was put into Sunday school and my parents went off to what I called the Big Room, to listen to the preacher. The Sunday school teacher had us coloring pictures of Jesus in a book and singing songs, and I was more interested in what was happening in the Big Room, where the preacher and all the adults were.
After a few weeks, we stopped going and that was that. I had two sets of grandparents that lived very close to me, as well as aunts and uncles and cousins, and we would all get together quite often. It was not unusual for the conversation to turn to various religious and spiritual subjects. His friends called him the deacon, because he spent so much time serving as deacon in his church. These conversations had a deep influence on me. I just found them so mysterious and so engaging, these talks about God and spirit and Jesus, and as a child I would just sit there and listen with a kind of awe.
Fortunately, the discussion was always very open and expansive, not dogmatic. Nobody was trying to argue their point; it was more a kind of inquiry, of really looking deeply at these things. I was also always a lover of Christmas. Now, I suppose any kid is a lover of Christmas, with all the presents, the tree, the lights, and those holiday TV specials made for kids. I loved all that stuff too, but for me Christmas was also a sacred time. Each year starting in October, I would be overcome by a certain kind of presence —a transcendent, beautiful, rich, intimate presence.
I associated it with the Jesus story, which is, of course, what Christmas is really all about. This feeling of the sacred would overcome me for several months before Christmas. The closer I got to Christmas, the more this sense of the sacred would overtake me.https://rhineszavo.tk
There Will Be a Resurrection!
It carried a sense of great meaning and profound intimacy. I was literally living in a state of grace for two or three months every year, and this added a sacred dimension to the whole Christmas celebration that went far beyond the packages and lights and glitter of Christmas.
And so Christmas and the Christian message have always resonated with me on a deep level; the Jesus story has always been significant to me. As I got older, sometime in my teens, I partook in communion at a Catholic mass. It also served to connect me, again, with the Jesus story. As I got into my late teens, I really started to get interested in a deeper form of spirituality. I just had to know the meaning of that word. I suppose you could say that was the moment I became a spiritual seeker; I was searching for the enlightenment I had read about in that Zen book.
I found a Zen teacher in a directory, one who actually happened to be only fifteen minutes from where I grew up, which was amazing because at the time there were very few Zen centers or temples in the United States. Her name was Arvis Justi, and she had gone through training with her own teachers for a long time. She actually taught out of her house. I was about twenty years old when I found her, and I studied and meditated with her for more than a decade.
Eventually, when I was thirty-three, she asked me to teach. Zen training is really focused on what you do —in other words, how you engage in a real practice that can open you up to the deeper dimensions, the deeper realities of the mystery of all of us. And so I was engaging in Zen and doing a lot of meditation. Sitting in silence was the primary practice, and it was a profoundly meaningful experience for me; it was really the avenue through which I engaged my spiritual search.
And so, without being really conscious of what I was doing, but just following my interest and intuition, I started to reach out again, especially through my reading. Therese of Lisieux. Thumbing through her autobiography in the store, something about her saintly piety just intrigued me, so I bought the book and took it home. As I read her life story, I was so taken by her; there was an innocence and a dedication to God that really touched something in me.
Her relationship with God was very sincere and very simple, and something about the simplicity and sincerity of her approach touched something that was very sincere and simple in me. And much to my surprise, I found myself quite literally falling in love with this saint, who was long dead. I read three or four different versions of her autobiography, I read commentaries on her life and her writings, and I was completely swept up with her for about two years in this love affair of the heart.
What was really happening was that my heart was being opened. There was something in the way she conveyed her real love of God that was deeply heart-centered, and it broke my heart wide open.