Doris Stensland writings regarding Lent and Easter:
The Animals of Holy Week
The Fragrance of the Cross
I Was There
OF HOLY WEEK
present at Jesus' birth,
and also during His
last days on earth.
In the Bible we get
at some animals
present during Holy Week.
There was the
donkey colt who led a parade.
"The Lord has need
of it," Jesus had said.
This animal never
had been ridden upon,
this donkey carried Jesus on His triumphant
An excited crowd
followed behind and alongside.
Hosanna!" they cried,
The people waved
palm branches along the way.
How do you think
the donkey felt to be needed Palm Sunday?
Then there was the
rooster that made a man cry.
It was perched on
the Courtyard fence way up high.
That day its
"cock-a-doodle-doo" rang out loud and clear,
but it fell like a
thunder bolt on Peter's ears.
recalled Jesus' advice,
"Before the cock crows twice, you'll deny me
"Now the guilt was
too heavy. What have I done?
My dearest friend I
tried to shun!"
"cock-a-doodle-doos" still ringing in his ears,
Peter went outside
and shed bitter tears.
by Doris Stensland
- April 2011
FRAGRANCE OF THE
There at Golgotha
that day, the smell of death was everywhere,
a whiff of sweet fragrance came from the cross.
It was the fragrance
Jesus so extravagantly poured Himself out for the world
for you and me.
And this poignant
scent reached even to the heavens,
it says this sacrifice was a fragrant offering to God the Father.
"Be full of
love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave Himself
to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.
And God was pleased, for Christ's love for you was like sweet perfume to
Ephesians 5:2 (The Living
May the love
fragrance of the Cross fill my life today,
and may I never
forget Your life-giving love for me.
by Doris Stensland -
I was there.
I saw it all.
Yes, I am just a stone, and too
large for women to move, but late Friday afternoon Joseph of Arimathea rolled me in front of the entrance
to the tomb. There was quietness that
night in this land of graves, but Saturday things changed! A soldier came and placed a seal on me. It was the government's way of saying "Keep
Out"! A guard of Roman soldiers was
stationed in front of me. I heard them
talking and laughing all day and during the next night.
Before dawn early Sunday morning
the whole world shook! The ground moved
under me, and at the same time lightning appeared, and then I saw an angel, in
clothes that gleamed, come down from heaven.
He took hold of me and rolled me back away from the entrance, and then
He sat on me. In fear the guards fell to
the ground as dead men.
And then I saw HIM! He came forth with the look of a Winner! A Hero!
One Victorious! No longer a dead
man. He was ALIVE! As He stepped out of the tomb, He turned His
face upward. I heard Him shout to His
Father, "I did it! Your plan has now
Several angels, clad in clothes as
white as snow, were moving here and there around Him, and I heard them uttering
words of praise. In that blessed holy
time, I too had to shout my praise.
I was there. This was the greatest event of all time,
either in heaven or on earth, . . . . .and I was there!
Doris Stensland - April 2013
My name is Petronius, the
Although for years I've watched
men die horrible deaths,
and put many
I've never been able to forget
that Friday at Golgotha,
or these words
- "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do."
It was the job assigned to us
that day - three men to be crucified.
We'd done it
many times before.
Nails were driven into them and
soon silhouetted against the sky
the world could see 3 men hanging on 3 crosses.
One of them was different -
not the usual
ruffian that struggled, fought and swore.
They said He called Himself the
Son of God.
The sign over
his head read - THE KING OF THE JEWS.
As we watched and waited we
could hear His words.
His answer to
the robber by His side puzzled me.
Could a mere man promise,
"Today you shall be with me in Paradise?"
I heard His
agonizing cry as He was abandoned by His Father,
And the special words, "Father
forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Soldiers can usually cope with
fear, but happenings that day terrified us.
The sun went dark at noon. The
earth was quaking under our feet.
Creation seemed angry with what we were doing.
When I heard Him shout, "It is
Finished" as He gave up the ghost,
I knew with
certainty, "Truly, He was the Son of God."
Now every day these words are
my comfort . . . . . . .
forgive them for they know not what they do."
Certainly this was a righteous
man, the very Son of God.
By Doris Stensland - March 2014