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by Mark

Perhaps the most haunting words that echo from the cross are the words “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”  These are found in Matthew 27 and Mark 15.  It is striking that in both Matthew and Mark these are the last words of Jesus.  These are words of agony, of Jesus bearing the wrath of the Father in my place but in the agony and enduring the Father turning his back on the Son these are also words of victory and hope. 

Jesus is not shouting out a random cry of abandonment but he is quoting Psalm 22:1.  Even in the midst of the greatest pain he would ever endure Jesus brings scripture to mind.  Psalm 22 is an odd Psalm, in some ways it does not make sense.  The 31 verses are roughly divided into 2 parts.  Vs. 1-18 is a cry of anguish, of seeking understanding as the evil doers triumph.  The break of vs. 19-31 changes with the beautiful word, “but” But you, O lord, do not be far off! (19).  The second section seems to move from uncertainty to assurance.  In calling for the Lord the question still remains- will he come?  However quickly the section moves to recalling the faithfulness of God as well as asserting the triumph of God. 

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
28 For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
(Psa 22:27-31 ESV)

On the cross Jesus in quoting this Psalm is summoning, recalling and triumphing the promise of God that all the nations would be blessed.  In the sacrifice of Christ the worship of the nations was secured, although it is still being realized (to a people yet unborn)- the day when we shall stand around the throne, from every tongue, tribe, people and nation and worship the King. 

You can’t understand Psalm 22 apart from the cross- the cross is the only thing that will tie together, the first verse that Jesus quotes and the last verse that Jesus quotes.  Because while we readily recognize the quote of the first verse of the Psalm “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” we don’t often recognize the last verse which are the last words of Jesus.   (vs 31)  they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. Jesus quotes this in John 18:30 when he says  He has done it = It is finished.  God is given glory as the  nations worship the Lord.  The Mission of God is accomplished
He is Risen

He is Risen Indeed


(I commend the book The Mission of God by Wright if you are interested in exploring God’s Mission especially from the OT perspective)

by Mark

DUST STORM! I’m thinking this might be a good title for a novel or a made-for-TV movie. (When you read it you must shout it with emphasis- its in caps with an exclamation point, its very dramatic)   I’ve seen many storms in my life but not really a true dust storm.  We enjoyed our time in the capital, Ulan Baatar and were looking forward to time back in Darhan to run around.  On Wednesday the DUST STORM! brewed up.  Everything goes brown.  After the storm when you realize that an inch of dust is deposited on the streets you realize how much soil is blowing, it’s like the dust bowl. 



You need to keep the windows shut.  Even with the windows shut the dust still comes in (this photo is the inside of our window sill).  Its really hard because the pars are still hot and the apartment gets hot and stuffy really quickly. 


During the storm- no basketball players


After shot for comparison (you can see some green grass coming up as well- its like we went from winter to summer in one week- except the heat is still on but we now have a fan!)


Back window


What else to do inside but watch a few movies and tie some flies (we have been on break from language school this week and it’s been good- but I think I am more tired now than at the beginning of the week!)


Here taimen, taimen, taimen  (size #4 Mustad 3366 -greatest hook ever made- gsp thread and deer hair)


Even Smokey settled down to take a nap.  He likes playing in boxes, just like some children we know.