Easter: Jesus’ Finest Hour

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What makes something your “finest hour”?

To answer that question, we first have to reach back to June 16, 1940, when that phrase was made famous in a speech by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

World War Two had begun the previous year. France, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands had all fallen under the jackboots of the Nazis. It was a dark time, and the only thing standing between Hitler and control of the rest of Europe was the island nation of Britain.

In this context, Churchill prepared his people for the immense sacrifices that would be asked of them in the coming battles. He told them that the survival of their nation and way of life lay at stake. He let them know the consequences both of success and of failure in the task ahead of them.

He concluded his speech with one of the great rallying cries in history:

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”

Churchill was telling the British people that their finest hour would not be a time of ease or comfort. Rather, it would encompass pain, sacrifice, duty, and selflessness.

The same holds true for us.

And the same held true for Jesus in His finest hour.

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We’re Here To Help

Image by An SiYu from Pixabay

Not far from The Faith Cafe, there’s a big-box home-improvement store. I had occasion to go there, and noticed the smiling greeter at the entrance.

He had a name-tag sticker on his apron that read, “Frank: Front End.”

I was both puzzled and amused.

Did the store managers figure that customers needed guidance determining which was the front end of Frank?

If I peered around to see Frank’s backside, would I see another sticker that read, “Frank: Rear End”?

Or maybe Frank needed a sticker on his apron to tell him which way to put it on, so he wouldn’t wear it back-to-front?

I giggled my way through the store until I finally realized that perhaps the sticker meant that Frank was responsible for covering the front end of the store. I felt a little sheepish at my mistake, but reasoned that the sticker could have been a little less confusing.

At another similar store I visited, the greeter had a name tag that read: “I’m George. I’m here to help.” That was much clearer. No mistaking what the employee was there for.

Then I thought, isn’t that what we believers are here on earth to do, too?

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All I Want For Christmas Is Staff

Have you made a list yet of what you want for Christmas?

Time is running short, so if you want to submit your list to Santa, you’d better get cracking!

Maybe you want some jewellery, a designer handbag, or a trip to a tropical isle?

Or perhaps your tastes run more to tools for your workshop, some custom bling for your car, or season tickets to see your favourite sports team play.

The kids in your life are probably way ahead of all of us and already know what toys and games they’d like.

As for me, after years of watching the historical British TV drama “Downton Abbey,” I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of having staff.

The size of staff required to keep a stately home like the fictional Downton Abbey running a century ago was considerable. They needed maids, cooks, valets, butlers, chauffeurs, and gardeners.

But the position that intrigued me most was that of footman. They seem to be so useful, able to turn their hands to any task around the house.

I really think I need a footman!

Or maybe, if I had to ask Santa for just one, a chef would be the better choice?

But really, I’m asking the wrong question. I should be asking: do I want to serve or to be served?

For Christians, there’s only one right answer:

It’s to serve others.

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You Already Have What It Takes!

Shepherd using his staff to guide sheep
Photo by Jim Black on Pixabay

Have you ever thought that God could never use you in His service?

That you’re unqualified because you don’t have any special skills or talents?

Moses thought the same way.

God called him to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, but Moses thought he wasn’t qualified to do so. He came up with excuse after excuse as to why he shouldn’t be chosen. He clearly felt that he didn’t have what it took.

But God can use us even when we feel ill-equipped. He takes us as we are and can use whatever we have at hand, no matter how meagre it seems.

In Moses’ case, God used a simple wooden stick.

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You Already Have What You Need

Baking ingredients
Photo by Kathy Moreno on Wallpaper Flare

I love desserts that you can make on the spur of the moment, with ingredients you already have in your kitchen (like the recipe for coffee cake below). The ones where you don’t need to make a special trip to the store to find an uncommon or rarely used ingredient.

For instance, I love the flavour of pistachios, but rarely keep them on hand in my cupboard. Walnuts, on the other hand, are more likely to be found year-round in my kitchen. If a recipe calls for nuts, I know I’m bound to have some walnuts I can use.

Or what about an ingredient like rosewater? It sounds like it would create an exotic dessert, but who keeps rosewater in their pantry?

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Here To Help

Not far from The Faith Cafe, there’s a big-box home-improvement store. I had occasion to go there recently, and noticed the smiling greeter at the entrance.

He had name tag sticker on his apron which read, “Frank: Front End.”

I was both puzzled and amused.

Read more