Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lent Day 36: Chickens and new life

I'm listening to a chicken webinar. Yes, chickens. Two experts with PhDs in agriculture raise chickens. They are online, answering questions. "Know that expense, health, and zoning laws are all part of the picture. Can you legally keep chickens?" I think we can. (Check municodes.com for zoning laws.) In most suburbs, you can have 3 hens as pets or eggs. No roosters allowed.

Do we want to keep chickens? Nope. Sometimes, it's interesting just to examine things that cross the horizon. Chickens have been on my radar all winter. Various friends and blogs keep mentioning them. "Eventually backyard chickens will be as popular as backyard gardens," claims the expert. Maybe, but can you leave a garden for a few days? Usually. Chickens? Not so much. They scatter at the slightest scare and need at least daily attention.

In this week when Easter eggs are being painted, hunted, and part of fun competitions, I'm thinking about the traditions that have crept into a Passover feast celebrating the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world. Resurrection - does its renewal and new life focus go with Easter egg hunts? Hmmmm.

We're trying to keep our focus on Jesus this coming week. We're reading the last half of the gospels as a reminder of the sacrifice and loving heart of Jesus as he walked toward death. A man of courage and conviction, kindness and large-heartedness. Bet no one ever called him "chicken." He was generous even to those who despised him and caused him harm. He died for us before we knew we needed a substitute to take our place on the cross.

Read more:
*Hum this to the tune of Danny Boy. Every time we've sung this, we are blown away by what we do and don't know about our saviour.

I cannot tell why he whom angels worship
should set his love upon the sons of men,
or why as shepherd he should seek the wanderers,
to bring them back, they know not how nor when.
But this I know, that he was born of Mary
when Bethlehem's manger was his only home,
and that he lived at Nazareth and laboured;
and so the saviour, saviour of the world, has come.

I cannot tell how silently he suffered
as with his peace he graced this place of tears,
nor how his heart upon the cross was broken,
the crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, he heals the broken-hearted,
and stays our sin and calms our lurking fear,
and lifts the burden from the heavy-laden;
for still the saviour, saviour of the world, is here.

I cannot tell how he will win the nations,
how he will claim his earthly heritage,
how satisfy the needs and aspirations
of east and west, of this and every age.
But this I know, all flesh shall see his glory,
and he shall reap the harvest he has sown,
and some glad day his sun will shine in splendour
when he the saviour, saviour of the world, is known.

I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
when at his bidding every storm is stilled,
or who can say how great the jubilation
when all our hearts with love for him are filled.
But this I know, the skies will sound his praises,
ten thousand-thousand human voices sing,
and earth to heaven, and heaven to earth,
will answer, "At last the saviour, saviour of the world, is king!"
by W.Y. Fullerton (1857-1932)

*You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! Romans 5:6-9 NIV

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