It rained a lot today so Bethany got creative with the kids in the house. Titus and her played tennis in our living room and Avery lined up her wooden cookies on a box. We have this kind of second living room where our desks are and there’s a lot of open floor space so hey, why not a little game of tennis?
That cat from yesterday came back today right during dinner time. We were again sitting at our table and it popped up only this time our window was close so it glared at us (like cats do) and was gone as quickly as it came.
There have been a lot of “firsts” since we arrive and today was no exception. My team at Josiah Venture had our first official, everyone-in-person, meeting! It was fun to be together in Czech, but we didn’t waste any time with the pleasantries. We have a lot of projects right now and we’re really just trying to stay afloat. I stayed up late this evening trying to finish up one of them because tomorrow we’re off to Bratislava to work on items related to our short-term visas. It’s a 4-hour one-way trip so it’s going to be an 8 hour driving day tomorrow. Not something I’m super excited about but it’s necessary for us to continue to live and do ministry here.
Tonight as I was reading the kids their Bible, I was just reminded of the gospel. I don’t know if you can read the story of Christ on the cross without it realigning your heart. It makes no difference to me if it’s in my regular Bible or the kid’s storybook Bible, the cross of Christ is so important to the Christian faith. While reading I tried to tell the kids, “This is a sad and happy part of the Bible.” Our kids have commented on the pages before but when Avery saw the thorns in Jesus’ head she said, “He has ouchies.” Yes, he does. And it was my sin that caused it.
These pages (shown above and below) are actually very powerful and I could tell our kids got more quiet as I read. This page below is especially interesting and moving to me. The vantage point from above the cross to the people below is new and the page only says, “On a small hill outside the city of Jerusalem, Jesus was nailed to a cross and died.” Again, it doesn’t matter if it’s a kids Bible or not…how can you not stop and ponder the cross in that moment?
The chapter actually ends right there in the book, and normally I would only read them one chapter a night, but tonight we kept reading. We went on to see the tomb, the then empty tomb, and then Christ revealing himself to the disciples. Avery and Titus’ faces lit up and Titus actually started jumping up and down on the couch in excitement because Christ came back from the dead. I know he’s just a little kid, but I want that excitement. Shouldn’t I be the one jumping up and down? Shouldn’t all Christians be so blown away by Christ’s work on the cross that we’re just ecstatic about it? Oh, I realize that’s not realistic in many ways, but in other ways it absolutely should be. We should be so thankful that Jesus rises from the dead! Because if Christ isn’t raised, then what does Paul tell the church at Corinth:
 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
(1 Corinthians 15:17-19 ESV)
But he does rise! He does overcome sin and death! He declares victory over sin and wipes my slate clean! That’s why I should be jumping up and down on the couch like Titus. And that’s the thing I want to be thinking about as I go to bed tonight. I’m thankful for the work of Christ!