“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live,
you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
John 14:18-20 ESV
Christ is risen, and is not only at the right hand of God the Father, but is also, by virtue of what began at Pentecost, risen in us. 
We who have often recited the Apostles’ Creed may have a heart-picture of Jesus with the Father in heaven. Unfortunately, our hearts may therefore see Him as being far from us, for we are certainly aware that we are not in heaven. The awesome secret of the Christian life is that He is so very near, nearer than we are to ourselves. I am not orphaned; you are not orphaned. “Another lives in me.” We need to continually speak this truth to our souls, and to other needy souls we meet. The full, resurrection power of Almighty God is available right here in the core of my being. The One who has been to the grave and rose from it uncorrupted is present to share His all with us. We know it’s true, but we need to know it more deeply and more of the time. Christ is risen! He is risen in me, He is risen in you!
Thank You Jesus. Thank You for Your perfect obedience, even unto death on a cross. Thank you for keeping Your promise to come to us. Thank You for being so near, even risen in me. I ask You now for an increasing gift of faith to lay hold of this wonderful truth and to live it ever more fully. You are the center of my life. You are the center of my being. I praise Your holy name.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,
how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
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 hoped in this life only,
we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For as by a man came death,
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
I Corinthians 15:12, 16-22, ESV
Together with meditating on Christ’s resurrection and the great Christian hope of immortality, we could ask God to increase our desire for heaven and all it contains and for the anticipation of a future state in which we will have a new body patterned after Christ’s glorified body. Then, if we have substituted the favor of men and the things of this world for that which is only God’s and heaven’s to give, we have the great privilege of asking for the grace to deeply repent.
We can be turned around to once again face Him. We are no longer compelled to substitute the shadow for the real, our impressions about glory for the thing itself. 
Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Church celebrates Easter for several weeks for good reason – we need this time to contemplate His risen life and all it means. Paul points out the pitiable state of a believer who hopes in this life only, a critical caution for us today. We may not struggle with conscious unbelief in resurrection of the dead, but often we Christians live with too little joy at what awaits us. And when we lack a vision of heaven, we are too easily attracted to the lesser things of this world. Praise God for His myriad ways of moving us to look up! His Spirit stirs longings in our hearts that are undeniably larger than this life. The daily, often-painful evidence that our present bodies are corruptible moves us to thank God for our coming resurrection bodies. He reveals His splendor in creation, arresting us in moments of awe. His angels are with us, continually enticing our attention heavenward. All these promptings and more inspire us to affirm that a day is coming when we will be raised incorruptible – alleluia!
PRAYER: Gracious Father, we do ask you now to increase our desire for heaven. Whisper to our hearts about the glory that awaits us. Make us free as Your children to boldly delight in the joy of anticipation. Increase in us the supernatural gift of faith in Christ’s resurrection. Anoint us to proclaim His incorruptible life to all in need around us. We thank and praise You for imparting to us the hope of heaven.
 Leanne Payne, Restoring the Christian Soul Through Healing Prayer (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1991), 222.
Painting: Fra Angelico, 1440, Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Let us therefore celebrate the festival,
not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I Corinthians 5:7-8 ESV
In prayer, we see Him on the cross, and we take our place in His crucified body. We actually see this with the eyes of our heart as the spiritual reality is taking place. Then we see even our failure to achieve a sense of being, our horrific fear of falling into the abyss of nonbeing, taken up into His greater Being and sacrifice.
We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place
by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way opened for us
through the curtain, that is, his body.
We pass through “the curtain, that is, his body,” dying to the old diseased forms of love we have clung to as well as to the unspeakable loneliness and pain of being disrelated at this most basic of all levels. Forgiving others as well as all the circumstances of our lives, we rise with Him in newness of life. Born anew, we take our place in His resurrected Being. In the cross there is healing; in His resurrected body and life there is identity and being. 
We glorify our King as we enter in to His death and life, as we appropriate the healing and identity He has won for us. Let us leave even more of our stains and disfigurements in the tomb. Let us come forth that much more humble, more radiantly transparent as He shines through us. To celebrate is to participate, and to participate in the Paschal mystery is to truly live.
PRAYER: Come Holy Spirit and rend the veil. Open to us the power of the cross, the grave, and the skies that we might truly partake of Christ’s offering. Make our Easter observance an encounter, our celebration a participation. We lift our faces to You, gracious Father, confident in Your Son, and receive life.
Repentance and the reception of God’s forgiveness, far from a set of emotions or feelings about oneself, is a definite act, a healing transaction between man and God. The need for this act, no matter in what stage of the spiritual journey one finds himself, never lessens. The seasoned saint, no less than the initiate, needs this frequent exercise. Furthermore, this exercise should form a pattern woven into the ongoing spiritual life. This pattern is necessary because, though there may be no conscious awareness of sin, there is always that within us which the Christ-life would heal and forgive. 
The season of Lent is a gift to us, a rich inheritance from the saints who have gone before us. There is much wisdom in dedicating forty days of each year to a deeper time of repentance. It is only when we choose to pause and invite God’s merciful searchlight that we will be taken higher up and deeper in to His life. Our fasting from the distractions of this world, and for an increased attentiveness to Jesus is always fruitful. Let us renew ourselves for the remaining days of Lent, believing that God will satisfy us beyond our wildest imaginings as we persevere with Him.
Gracious Father, we thank you for the possibility of repentance that you continually hold open for each one of us. We thank you for the eternal reality of the exchange You make with us through the cross of Christ – our sin, our death, our shame for Your life, Your love, Your glory. Holy Spirit come, and impart Your divine energy to us that we might be revived in our fasting, in our attentiveness to Your presence, and in healing dialog with our Father. Give us all we need to kneel humbly and fully receive the forgiveness You give, that we might rise with You and stand as image-bearers clothed in Your righteousness.
Comments Off on The Cross – from Leanne’s Archives
By Leanne Payne
from her newsletter archives, Summer, 1993
The Cross is the Abyss of Wonders,
the Centre of Desires, the Schole of Virtues,
the Hous of Wisdom, the Throne of Love,
the Theatre of Joys and the Place of Sorrow;
It is the Root of Happiness,
and the Gate of Heaven.
Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations
I know of no modern poet who could have penned these words. There may be such a one whose lifelong meditation on Christ’s act of redeeming the world approaches the depth of the understanding this seventeenth-century Anglican poet-clergyman had, but he would have to be described, along with the likes of C. S. Lewis, as a dinosaur that somehow miraculously survived, and then suddenly appeared in this our time with its full Judeo-Christian symbolic system intact.
I read Traherne’s words to the precious folk in Denmark. I can still see the astonishment on one young man’s face. His was a wonderful one that reflected utter amazement and mutely shouted, “What in the world do such words as those mean?” Perhaps for some of you one phrase stood out. Write out that phrase in your journal just now, and then listen to God about what it means. Let the Scriptures speak to you anew of Christ’s Cross, and allow them to illumine the phrase that touched your soul. Whole books could be written on single phrases of Traherne’s eulogy. Don’t try to do that (just yet!), but begin to write out what echoed in your heart as you heard that truth.
Those of you whose hearts particularly resonated to the Cross as the “Abyss of Wonders” should not read the following until you’ve meditated upon it for yourselves. This is how it echoed in Andy Comiskey’s heart:
This means freedom from fear.
No matter what man has done to me, or will do.
No matter how badly I have fallen and have incurred the
consequences, all that raises its head above the
Lordship of Christ will die.
It dies as I dare to allow Jesus to reveal my sin
or that of another against me. I believe such revelation
is a risk – to face one’s blackness, to step off the
ground of one’s own seeming wholeness and into the
abyss of brokenness.
But that is where Jesus is found. He descended into the
abyss. In His crucifixion, He was swallowed up by the
blackness but not extinguished. In truth, the deeper He
descended and the weaker He became, the more He
revealed His power
For the abyss finds its end in Jesus. He established
the ground of the abyss by planting Himself at its
darkest, most sordid point, and then unfurling Himself
there, in glory. He frees the disfigured to rise with
Him in newness of life, in order to restore them to
their true design.
Our private and interpersonal abysses find their end in
Jesus. He establishes the wonder of His love and
creativity in those formerly hateful and barren places. He unfurls there and raises up one like myself to proclaim His substantial truth on the very ground once claimed by the darkness.
Andy Comiskey, Denmark, 1993
I italicized the last sentence of the above in order to point out the incarnational reality inherent in Andy’s words. The weapons of our warfare are incarnational; they have to do with the Real Presence of God with and within us. If I stand and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, and am not living in its incredible, substantive reality, if in other words, I am not married to Christ, and thereby a vessel that both holds and emanates His righteousness, I will be unable to speak and to be the truth our age is dying to hear. This gospel, in its incarnational form, that is, preached in the power of the Presence, delivers souls from the spirit of this age. It gains us a full divorce from Baal and Ashtoroth, Molech and Mammon, and espouses us to God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It heals. I will do no good, no matter what I say and teach, if I am not myself a living epistle, one from whom the very Light and the very Holiness, and the very Glory of God Himself emanates — even explodes into the lives of others who hunger for God and for meaning.
And that means I will be all the more human, fully human. The earth was given to us, the Scriptures tell us. I’ll be of the earth, earthy, feet flat on the ground, toes dug into the good earth, cherishing it. Yet I’ll be looking straight up to God, hands stretched up and out to Ultimate Reality, aware that God’s Spirit lives in me, aware of my immortality and that the more fully human I am, the greater capacity I have to carry and manifest the eternal, the heavenly.
You may want to share what the Lord speaks to your heart in regard to one of Traherne’s phrases. Address such a sharing to MPC, P. O. Box 3792, Peoria IL 61612-3792. Also, you may want to share about a healing you have received in a MPC conference, and we invite you to write that out as well. To write the story of our healing is nearly always to understand and receive more! We are listening in the Presence and celebrating God’s mighty hand upon our lives.
Comments Off on From Leanne’s Archives: Holy Week, 2006
To have the privilege of greeting you once again is precious indeed. As I write, it is Holy Week, and my heart is full to bursting with the message of our crucified and risen Lord and with thanksgiving for our great, unspeakable inheritance in Him. The Paschal message proclaims the victory of the holy over the unholy, the noble over the ignoble, and of a Kingdom whose King reigns in righteousness and enables us to do the same.
For our sake he (God the Father) made him (God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Cor. 5:21-6:1 ESV)
“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16 ESV)
Since I attended the Palm Sunday Eucharist, tears of joy, when not falling, are close to the surface. That is because in the Eucharistic liturgy, as we celebrated Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, I had such a heightened sense of the throng’s cries of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” and personal memories came flooding in of the myriad ways our King comes to us, never ceasing to purify, hallow, and strengthen us for the battles we face. Today, for all of us who dearly love the real and the splendor of the truth that streams from it, these battles are increasing and loom ever larger. But in them we find that most faithfully, our King always causes us, in Him, not only to overcome but to be fruitful as through us he invites multitudes of lost and wandering souls to enter His Kingdom and find His healing.
It is no small thing to be wed to Him, to be a church in anticipation of the wedding feast of the Lamb! You may want to ponder Zechariah 14:1-9 and Revelation 19:6-16, and then go back to verses 8 and 14 of Revelation 19 for what it means, as individual members of the bride of Christ, to wear white raiment at that feast and then, in that glistening raiment, to accompany the King of Kings as He returns at the end of time. It is no small thing to be fruit-bearers in the Kingdom. Who of us blood-bought ones can, in the midst of a Palm Sunday Eucharist, meditate on such Scriptures and not be overcome with tears of joy?