a monthly devotional journal
Issue No. 113
One moment we were asleep, curled up against the low, gnarled trees and encrusted rocks that made up the garden, and in the next, without warning, the silence was filled with the noise and metallic clatter of an official delegation from the temple.
My mind, thickened by sleep, went blank. The blurred shapes of the men swarmed round in my vision, dark and light mingled into a confusing nightmare--as if I were still unconscious upon the ground. The long robes of the officials swept past me, my eyes transferring them to my mind in slow motion. The greasy stench of torches filled my nostrils, their unsteady light made the nervous scene around me appear disjointed, unearthly.
Their voices came in a jumbled confusion of angry retorts and mutterings: conflicting orders shouted over the din. The mob was made up of the full range of our classes: as I gathered my wits and my cloak about me, I spotted some of the highest officials--chief priests, scribes, elders--as well as temple guards, servants, and lowly slaves. And they all bore the mark of an angry hunting party.
There were eight of us in our group. The rest--Peter, James, and his brother, John--had gone deeper into the garden with the Lord. We struggled to collect ourselves, felt hands on us--as well as the burning glare of unfriendly eyes. We weren't bound, we could have fought, but the numbers were not in our favor. Simon made a slow move toward something inside his cloak, but Philip set his hand on his arm, stopping our more impetuous brother.
Jesus came through the trees, with the other three trailing close behind. As soon as I saw Him I saw also that Judas was leading the mob, and I wasn't surprised. He had been with us earlier, still a part of us, but had departed before we left. His timing had been odd, but none of us thought any more of it, intent on the paschal meal.
No, my suspicions were fueled more by my own growing sense of unease about Judas. From early on he had seemed the odd man out, outwardly sincere, yet somehow distant and reserved. He kept the purse for us, but Jesus gave him no other responsibilities, and his measured enthusiasm for the group was frequently interrupted by long absences.
Judas moved quickly toward Jesus, embracing the Lord with a kiss to His cheek. The mob surged forward as one, and suddenly Jesus was surrounded. I was furious at my impotence against those who would harm the Lord. Knowing I would not stand against them, they turned their backs to me, their silence stating with eloquence their disdain. Here were people of power and influence who were at last demonstrating their loathing of Jesus and His ways. He had long been a pain in their sides, and now they were moving to excise the irritant.
While all around Him swarmed confusion and seething anger, Jesus remained calm. Low words I couldn't hear were muttered back and forth. Then a sudden glint of iron flashed over the Lord's shoulder. My belly dropped as I thought a guard was attacking Jesus, to kill Him on the spot. But it was Peter, striking out with his concealed weapon against those who threatened the Lord. I don't know the direction of his aim, but the blade severed the ear of the servant standing next to the high priest.
The mob surged forward again, weapons drawn and raised. The night air crackled with dark passions on both sides. There would have been blows, but Jesus cried out, "Stop this!" Then he knelt beside the fallen servant and touched the wound at the side of his head. Those nearest gasped in amazement, and for a moment--just a brief, fleeting moment--I thought this tender act might turn the mob away. But even as my mind entertained the picture of them all slinking back into the city, their work left undone, the guards and soldiers took hold of Jesus and manhandled Him toward the city gate.
He accompanied them without protest, and their collected might now seemed foolish compared to the docile cooperation of their prisoner. With the suddenness of events in a dream, we were left standing alone in a darkened garden. Eleven men left standing without purpose, without a leader, without hope. The abrupt silence was deafening, heavy in the night air. We all looked at each other, stunned and confused by the rapid series of events that had so quickly changed our lives for the worse.
What were we to do? What should be our next move? Should we rally others of His followers to storm the place where they had taken Jesus, to rescue Him from the hateful grasp of the priests? Or should we go underground, silently arm ourselves while we plotted with the Zealots? Should there be force or craftiness, might or stealth?
We all looked at each other, not one of us putting forth an answer. Then, without a word being spoken, each of us turned and slunk into the night.
I lingered in Jerusalem until Jesus was buried, and then returned to my home in Bethel. It was a solitary journey that was accompanied, in my mind, by the laments and wailing of the black-veiled women that held their vigil beneath His cross.
At a different time I would have covered the ten miles to Bethel in less than a day, but this time my feet bore weights that were set upon them in the garden, in Pilate's public courtyard, at the hill we called Golgotha outside the city. For one very long day I was blind to passersby, deaf to the calls of merchants traveling in either direction. Having left my appetite in the upper room of our last meal, I ate little, and my leaden feet carried me without guidance from my mind--a consciousness numb to my surroundings.
All the way I struggled to put words to my feelings. I had loved Jesus so deeply that now His absence made my belly ache. I felt like a groom who had devoted all of himself to his betrothed, committed completely, investing everything in the approaching wedding day--only to have his bride die on her way to the ceremony. There was a part of me that felt abandoned, betrayed.
But if I truly believed in Jesus--if I truly took Him at His word--then none of this was an accident. To convince myself that none of what had occurred was outside His will, while I walked my mind sifted back through the events of the last few weeks. I tried to remember everything Jesus had said, everything He had told us about Himself.
And my pace slowed all the more.
Because there was another Judas in our group, the brethren took to calling me by my family name. The difference in our personalities, I suppose, dictated which one of us would accept the change. Judas Iscariot was dynamic, clever, a natural leader, whereas I was more the steady, silent worker--dependably there, but unremarkable.
Now, considering the events of the last few days, I was pleased to release my name to this dead traitor from Iscariot, and to be forever content with the alternate reference. This one who had sold the Lord's life for silver could keep the name and wear it in his grave. I, Thaddaeus, still loved our Lord.
But how much? How could I say I loved Him when I was as quick to run as the rest? What was there about my behavior that could possibly set me above the one who had just sold his soul for a pouch of dirty coins? Where was I when Jesus was arrested, when He stood in mute subjection before Caiaphas, before Pilate, before the abusive soldiers' contempt? Where was I when His body was pinned to the cross like a common criminal of the state?
In the comparison, I wasn't sure I came out the better. After all, I was still alive; Judas at least had the courage to punish himself for his betrayal.
During that last day, while Jesus hung on the cross, I had kept to the fringes, skulking about the city, afraid of anything that moved. I knew my name was on the list. Now that they had removed Jesus, surely the authorities would be coming after His closest followers. Like a new king purging the palace of all potential usurpers, I expected the temple rulers to cleanse their system of anyone preaching the way of Christ.
But once Jesus was buried, the overheated atmosphere of Jerusalem cooled. No one seemed to care--or they cared only that it was all over. The troublemaker had been put away, executed and sealed into a tomb. And they were quick to put the distasteful episode out of their minds.
So I slumped out of the city like an old boat without wind in its sail. It was over. The work and progress of the last three years had come to nothing. Our hopes and dreams, invested in the one we knew to be the Messiah, were shattered, and left lying in the red-stained rock atop an ugly hill outside Jerusalem.
Something more than grief slowed my steps. I not only was returning home to Bethel--but also to my wife. And she was waiting for me, coiled like a black adder ready to strike.
Keren had never supported my allegiance to Christ. Her loathing for the Lord was stronger even than my devotion. While He was alive, and while I was committed to serving Him, she had mostly held her tongue, swallowing her venom silently, expressing her thick anger in ways mute, but just as tangible. Ours was already an uneasy alliance, and my allegiance to Jesus did nothing to calm the domestic acrimony.
"Is this it? Are you finally done with it all?" Were Keren's first words. Her face was twisted into a sick mixture of anger and smug satisfaction.
I wanted nothing to do with her. "I'm tired from the journey, and going up to the roof." But she followed me up the steps, close at my heels. "What more can there be? He's in the grave. Now there's an end to it."
"You don't know. You weren't there."
Keren's voice bristled with the pent-up energy of long nights spent alone--nights seething with rage against my absence. "What's to know? The priests finally had enough of your heretic teacher. They should have made their move long ago. I say we're better off."
"It wasn't that simple."
"Look," she persisted, almost buoyant with her glee, "it's over! You had your fun for awhile. Now it's time for you to come back to the real world. This house needs a husband."
That last remark cut into me. "Just the house?" I said, feeling my own anger rising. "Is that all? Does the roof need patching? Are there holes in the walls?"
"You know what I mean," she said quickly, her tone softening. "I've missed you. I won't deny that."
"Is it so hard not to?"
"How do you think I felt when you chose him over me? Yes, I missed having a husband here--I felt abandoned."
"I accept my part--but you needn't be so pleased about His death. Jesus spoke of love, of compassion, of a God who is a forgiving Father. For that He dies?"
"He didn't fit in." Keren's voice was once again cold. I saw her hatred of Jesus and everything about Him in her hard eyes. And I struggled against my worse nature. Even after all I had learned from Jesus, I desperately wished to strike back, to hurt her as she was hurting me. But His example, so fresh in my memory, was still a stronger influence than my own petty reflexes.
"Neither do you, my dear," I answered calmly. "Neither do you."
In a corner of the roof was my favorite spot in the house. Under a canopy of dried flax I had set a rickety couch where I could nap during the hottest hours of each afternoon. There had been few occasions for such repose during the last three years, but now, as the fragile frame creaked in protest against my weight, I realized I would now be able to frequent more often this place of solitude. It was good to once again look up through the familiar lattice of the canopy, to discover there the patterns and shapes that fed my drowsy imagination.
But now every pattern reminded me of Him. Jesus would not leave my mind. And again I felt the emptiness--the longing for His presence, His touch, His tender voice. To all of us Jesus had been more than a Master; He was our confidant, our advisor, brother, and friend. And losing Him now--at what seemed to be His moment of greatest triumph and influence--was something my mind could not grasp. All the way, from Jerusalem to home, I had struggled to understand how--and why--these events had played out. "Thaddaeus," Keren said, joining me under the shade of the canopy, "it's time you came down off this cloud. It's time to stop roaming about the countryside with a bunch of unwashed fishermen--trailing after the nonsense of some modern-day prophet."
"You won't have to worry about that any more, Keren," I said, turning onto my side, away from her. "He's dead. The 'unwashed fishermen' have gone back to their nets--and for all I know, Matthew has gone back to his tax booth."
"And his words?" She pressed. "What about his teachings?"
I had no immediate answer. The question ignited a whirlwind of thoughts in my brain. What of His words, now that Jesus was dead? Would they live on? Should they live on, if He could be so easily removed from those needing to hear them?
"He told us so many things over the last few years. I'm having a hard time remembering it all." I sat up and stared into the face of my wife, hoping to convince her of Christ's sincerity--of my sincerity. "He told us so many things just that last night."
"What last night?"
"The night He was arrested. We celebrated Passover together, and He told us so many things about Himself, and about His kingdom."
"There's no kingdom for a dead man," Keren spat, her face hardening again.
"Not here. Jesus spoke of an eternal kingdom with God. He said that He and God were the same. He told us, 'He who has seen Me, has seen the Father.'"
"There's proof!" Keren exploded. "That man was living, breathing blasphemy! Oh, how I wish I had been there," she muttered with that same ugly blend of joy and angry resentment. "I wouldn't have been taken in."
"Keren!" I shouted at her. "It's you who blasphemes!"
She rose and began pacing about the roof, unable to contain the dark feelings that energized her. "Everyone in all the Roman Empire knew that this Jesus was only a troublemaker. Everyone, that is, but my husband," she turned back to me, contempt written across her face. "Thaddaeus, you were born stupid and simple. Everyone around you knows the truth--yet you persist!"
My fingers clutched at the edge of the couch. Left to their own will they would have strangled the woman where she stood. But I was determined to keep my emotions in check. I had no desire to retaliate against Keren--to win the argument with brute force. My desire, instead, was to win her over with reason. To prove to her the validity of Christ's claim. And if I failed in that, there was no purpose in retaliation: one does not waste argument on the condemned.
"I loved Him, Keren. You won't change that. His death won't change that."
"Stupid and simple," she muttered again, shaking her head.
Keren's words were beginning to fade into insignificance. It was as if when my body came to Bethel, my mind remained in Jerusalem. Though I had come back to what others considered a more normal life, it remained unnatural to me. The clamor of my wife's caustic words rang tinny and distant in my hearing. Did I even still love her?
Sunlight filtered through the latticework overhead, casting dappled patterns of shadow and light. And again my mind slipped back to embrace and study the events of the last few days. I was still held in their grip. The exciting days in Jerusalem leading up to Passover. That fateful night that began in the familial calm of the upper room, but ended in the awful tragedy in the garden. The lurid spectacle of Jesus paraded, beaten and bloodied, before the mob. The agonizing procession through the city streets, ending in His public execution before those who just days before had called Him Lord.
What was I to do with it all? All the way to Bethel the words kept ringing in my head: He's dead! He's dead! But whose voice was it? Was it God the Father setting a capstone upon Christ's tomb, declaring to those who cared to ask that the work was done, that His grave was the end-marker for everything He had to accomplish among us? Or was it the balm of my own tortured conscience, giving me permission to run away, because, after all, He's dead.
I listened again to the many words Jesus had said. Scenes and episodes flashed through my mind: colors and textures, sunsets, dawnings, hillsides filled with attentive men and women listening to His words. Oh, why couldn't I remember more! But then the accumulated mass of everything He said that last night came swirling back into my thoughts, words and phrases crashing through the fog like the crack of lightning in a storm.
"He spoke of His death!" I said, rolling up to a sitting position. "He knew it would happen."
Like a leopard contemplating its prey, Keren crouched in the opposite corner of the roof. She grunted disbelieving acknowledgement.
"He spoke also of coming back to life--of finding a way out of the grave!"
"Oh, sure," she snorted contemptuously. "And did he? Did this magician raise himself out of the tomb? Well, answer: Did he?"
Why had it taken me so long? Why had it been necessary for me to leave the city to recall the words? And what was the answer? Oh, why hadn't I stayed to find out.
"You know, we all scattered so fast, I really don't know."
"What a coincidence!" Keren shrieked, her dark glee spilling out of her. "Oh, he was a smoothie, all right. He had you all fooled."
What else could she say. Ever since I had come home we had talked only of His death--the cold finality of it all. I had done nothing to help her see the other possibilities. My mind had been as thick and clouded as hers. But now that I had nudged open the door, the memories were flooding back. I couldn't have stopped them if I had tried.
"I know He was the Son of God," I said, convincing myself as much as Keren. "I know it in my heart. Even before I admitted the truth to myself, I believe I knew it in my heart." I rose off the couch and headed toward the steps that would take me back down to the street. "I have to go back."
"Give it up!" Keren cried, grabbing my arm. Now there was panic mixed in with her anger, a cancerous soup that was slowly eating her from within. "Give it up!" She cried again, frantic. Her fingers dug into my flesh like the talons of an eagle. "It was a strange faith. And now it's dead!"
For the first time since I had come back to our home I felt a measure of tenderness toward my wife. I winced at the ugly sight of her desperation. I could tell her what I knew, but ultimately the decision to move out of her cynical rejection of Christ must be hers. And that is what I wanted for her, I now realized. There were times when we loathed the sight of each other. But even then, deep in the pit of our mutual anger, I didn't forget that I had once loved her. And now, if that love had faded, it had at least been replaced by a lukewarm affection--something not very good, but better than nothing.
"Keren, the faith will live on. It's you who are dead." Though I said them kindly, she found the words repugnant. Yet, she didn't strike back, so I continued. "No one but the Son of God could have given health to the sick, sight to the blind. No one else could have raised the dead!"
"None of that makes him God," she argued. "Prophets have always worked their miracles, but we knew they weren't God. None of this brings him back to life."
"He did it for others--why not for Himself?"
She had no answer for this, but only stood helpless before me, her whole body downcast, mumbling her protest, "No, no." For the first time I saw tears on her face.
"For three years I stood by Him, Keren. I won't let Him down now."
"But," she whimpered, "he's--"
"What good was my time with Jesus if I fail to believe now? What good was His teaching if there is no resurrection?"
Keren shoved away from me. It was clear she was trying to gather her thoughts, to regain the advantage she had enjoyed before. My wife was a woman who did not give ground easily; she fought her battles full out. In her mind she was battling for the integrity of her home, her family.
"All right, all right," she conceded, "he was a good teacher--and you served him well. But Thaddaeus, you have a family. We've been here all along, waiting--waiting!. You must serve them now."
Suddenly my mind was filled with images and words from a day long before. Early in His ministry--shortly after He called all of us to follow Him--Jesus brought us to Capernaum. While there His mother, Mary, and her other sons came to take Jesus home; they had received word of strange occurrences associated with His work, and had come to take Him back home--to take Him out of the public eye.
But when they sent word to Jesus in the house in which He was teaching, informing Him that His family was here, He only looked around at all of us sitting at His feet, listening to every word, and said, "Behold, My mother and My brothers!" That day He told us that His true family consisted of those who shared His purpose: to do the will of God.
And now I was left with the same quandary: Where was my allegiance due? To my personal family--or to the future family of God?
"We were only the first," I said, giving the answer before I realized I had it. "Many more will become disciples of Jesus." I wanted her to understand. It was important that she see the path set before me. "He's given us the task of reaching them, Keren. Don't you see?"
"I see only a man running away." Her expression was dark, veiled.
Was there any hope at all of reaching her? Would she ever understand the scope of what had begun with a simple rabbi from Nazareth? Keren seemed to refuse to look beyond the four walls of her house--my house. Yes, it was mine--but so was the responsibility given me by the Lord! By leaving I jeopardized the tenuous bond I still had with my family; by staying I jeopardized the future reach of the family of God.
For the first time, I prayed to Him. Standing on the roof of my house, staring into the blinded eyes of my wife, I prayed to my Lord Jesus to show me the way. In no more than the blink of an eye I asked Him for the courage to do right--His right. And He answered. Then I realized that He had forgiven my cowardice.
"The rest will be expecting me." And I began down the steps.
Keren spat out her words with a fierce desperation that stopped me in my tracks. "You mean he taught you to abandon your families?"
I was surprised by my calm. I didn't hate her.
"Jesus said our love for Him must be greater than the love we have for our family. He also said that a man's enemies will be those who live in his own house."
"But he's dead."
"No, Keren," I smiled, suddenly released from any animosity I had felt toward her, "He's alive. I expect to see Him when I get back to Jerusalem. And when I do--oh, when I do, Keren, I'll fall on my knees and beg His forgiveness for doubting--doubting even for a moment."
Jerusalem was back to normal by the time I returned.
Most of those who had swelled its population for the Passover had returned to their homes. Approaching the city from Bethel, I normally would have entered the city at the Tadi Gate, just north of the Temple. But this time I veered off into the valley that bordered the eastern wall of the city, below the Temple Mount. There I entered the cool stillness of the Garden of Gethsemane.
The last time I was in the garden its serenity had been shattered by the angry clatter of men and soldiers, the clang of iron against metal, the shouts of authority, and the smell of fear. Now even the ghosts were gone.
I don't know what I expected. I suppose a part of me was longing for the shadows of days gone before, the sweet moments spent sitting at the Lord's feet, listening to Him tell about the kingdom of God, about life as it would be in the future. Well, this was the future, and He was gone. The garden was deathly still. Had I hoped to see Him again at the last place where we were all together?
The sky was still a brilliant blue, but the garden was already in the shadow cast by the city up on the hill. Soon even the city would be dark, and I still had nowhere to go. Would the rest of the disciples have come back together somewhere in the city? If they had, how would I find them? Surely they would be in hiding. What hope had I of finding them?
With nowhere else to go, I made my way toward the center of the garden, where the old press stood that had for centuries turned the fruit of these trees into oil. But in the dim light I could see that someone was already there. A man was sitting on the rough stone of the olive press. As I came nearer I was sure I recognized him.
"Thomas? Is that you?" The figure on the press raised his head, and I saw that I was right. "Thomas!"
"Thaddaeus! Oh, it's so good to see you again!" He cried. We greeted each other with a kiss. "Where have you been?"
I told him the story from the moment when I left the city after the crucifixion. He listened with interest, but silently. When I was through, I asked him what he knew about the rest.
"They're in the city," he explained. "They're in hiding at Susanna's house. No one knows."
"Good! Let's join them," I said.
But Thomas didn't move. "You go on ahead," he said with a curious look on his face.
I stared at him for a long time. Across his face were written the questions and insecurities we had all felt at one time or another. I could see that my brother was troubled. "What has happened to your faith?" I asked quietly.
"I--I'm not sure. I just can't seem to shake the sight of Jesus dying on the cross." He shuddered, seeing it again.
"He told us He would defeat the grave," I said, but even as I spoke I realized that Thomas wasn't prepared for reason. On a deep, visceral level, his faith in what Jesus had said would take place had been shaken. It wasn't outside his reach; Thomas could once again stand on the Rock. But right now his feet were in quicksand.
"I remember the words, too. But right now I need more than that."
"Come with me," I said, taking his arm. "Seeing the others will help."
"Not yet," he said, pulling away from my grasp, and I knew I wouldn't be convincing him tonight.
Darkness had fallen by the time I made my way up the path that led to the Temple. I crossed the pavement that led me around to the wall, passing through the gate that took me into the city. The sounds and smells of Jerusalem, the pace of its citizens, were once again familiar. The constant press of bodies, the extra stalls set up for Passover, the deafening noise of the crowd--all were gone, and the narrow streets were once again navigable.
I followed the narrow alleyway that led to the home of Susanna, one of the women who had supported us during our travels with the Lord. I knocked twice, then gave my name. The door creaked open and I slipped inside.
Here were my brothers, my friends. Seeing their faces once again, it seemed as if a year's time had elapsed since we had parted; it seemed impossible that it had been only a few days. But though we were all glad to be together again--save for Thomas--there was a palpable unease in the room. The eyes behind smiles faded into darkened mirrors of all that had passed before us. We had all foreseen a glorious, triumphant kingdom of light with the Lord on the throne, yet here we were, huddled together in a darkened room, fearing for our lives and mourning the King's death.
Peter rose to speak. He had changed. The brash leader with the quick mouth and broad, grinning face had aged a few years since that terrible moment in the garden a few days earlier. His face was serious, his eyes now reflected troubling experiences he hadn't known before. Peter had always seemed as someone off-balance, like a boxer with only one leg: striking and jabbing, yet often missing the mark for fear of toppling over. But now he stood before us like a mountain settled onto a rock plateau: firm, immovable, mature. So much had taken place in this man's life since he had brashly struck out in defense of the Lord a few days ago, and it all showed in the lines of his face--as well as the tone and substance of his words.
He began by telling us of how Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and the other women had reported the empty tomb. At those words my heart stopped beating. Then it was true! He described to us what he and John had discovered there, how it appeared as if Jesus' body had simply vanished. The wrappings were intact--still in the shape of the body! Then Cleopas rose to take his turn.
There were more in the house than just those of the Lord's closest disciples--among them Cleopas and his companion: a Greek, and a stranger to us. They had arrived just moments before, and were eager to tell of their experience just hours earlier. With breathless excitement he told of meeting a stranger on the road to Emmaus--a stranger who was yet oddly familiar to them. Odder still was how he spoke to them with such a profound knowledge of prophecy and the Scriptures. They told of how he had joined them for a meal, and it was then--in the familiar way in which their guest broke the bread and blessed it--that they came to realize that before them was the risen Lord!
My heart was thumping in my chest like a drum. The room was alive with anticipation: Where was Jesus now? When would we see Him? The room buzzed with the sound of everyone speaking at once. What would He look like? What would He say to us?
Peter motioned for everyone to be quiet, and it was then that someone asked him, "Peter, what did the Master say to you?" He said nothing for the longest time, just standing there before us, his gaze resting somewhere over our heads. And though we had never seen it happen before, now a tear spilled down his cheek. When he finally spoke, his voice was low, and gravelly with emotion.
"My brothers," Peter began, "most of you know of my shameful behavior the night Jesus was arrested. I pray that none of you will ever know the despair I lived that night. The next day, looking upon our Lord hanging on that tree, my grief caused me to consider following the path of Judas. Perhaps that was the only thing left for me to do--to take my own life.
"But today the Lord came to me." Peter's voice shook, and his eyes filled with tears. "Brothers, He was no apparition, no spirit come to do me ill. It was Jesus Himself, in the flesh. I felt His touch, I heard His voice speak to me. He was as real as I am to you. He had every right to hate me for what I had done at His worst hour. But--" Peter's voice broke, and he wept openly, "--instead, He forgave me!"
The room erupted again. A few closest to Peter comforted the great bear of a man. I knew for sure now: truly Jesus was the incarnate Son of God. The events of the last few days had proven it. He had fulfilled everything He had said--and more! Oh, how it must have been for Peter to be in His presence again!
And then, suddenly, someone else was in the room. The door hadn't opened, but there was one more among us. John raised a lamp over his head to cast the light further. We all turned to see--and there He was!
It was the Lord!
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:22-23
Issue No. 113
Aspects is Copyright © 2000 David S. Lampel.
Permission is hereby granted for this original material to be reprinted in newsletters, journals, etc., or to be used in spoken form. When used, please include the following line: "From Aspects, by David S. Lampel. Used by permission." Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture is from the New International Version. NIV quotations are from the Holy Bible: New International Version, Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission. NASB quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation.
Aspects is published monthly in printed and two e-mail editions: plain text and Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. For a free subscription, contact us by any of the following methods.
To Contact Us
Postal address: 2444 195th Trail,
Winterset, IA 50273-8172.
Internet address: email@example.com
Back issues of Aspects are archived on the World Wide Web; go to http://dlampel.com and click on "Aspects".
Aspects is distributed free-of-charge. If you wish to contribute financially toward this ministry, then we want you to know that your contribution will be an encouragement to us, and will be applied toward the expenses of postage and materials.
You are cordially invited to discover the many Christian resources available at our Internet site.
At http://dlampel.com/ you will find periodicals, e-mail list subscriptions, dramatic resources and completed projects--all archived in their entirety.
At our web site you may read all publications and subscribe to those you wish to receive on a regular basis.
You may also review all of our His Company scripts, download them for immediate use, or submit an order for printed versions.
All resources and publications are made available free of charge.
Aspects is our monthly devotional journal. This eight-page publication has been published since 1990--via the Internet since 1994.
Editions: Print, Ascii, Pdf
Seeds of Encouragement is published every Monday morning as a brief, simple reminder of God's presence in our lives.
Reflections by the Pond offers thoughtful considerations of life, nature, and the world in which we live from a Spiritual perspective. It is published every Wednesday.
Songs for the Heart is our newest offering, published every Friday. This brief devotional includes thoughts based on hymns, choruses, or psalms.
At the His Company web site visitors will find a complete catalogue of dramatic and musical resources that both illustrate Scripture and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
All scripts and worship resources are included in their entirety, ready for immediate download. Editions: Print, Ascii, Pdf
Also available at our web site are several completed resources, including...
In Unison is a 19-article series on worship--written especially for worship leaders and the choir.
Editions: Ascii, MSWord
Knowing... is a series of brief devotionals for understanding the God of heaven through the lives of those who called upon His name.