It’s holy week. And I’m undone in a most precious way. Not precious like the face of a smiling child, but precious like diamonds chipped from coal or gold emerging from flames. The pages of stories tucked away in small passages of scripture are reminders to me of our undeniable brokenness and God’s unfathomable kindness. The headlines that hang on the days – of terror and bloodshed and pain – are a testament to a world so far away from the Eden it was created to be. And yet, there is hope. Always, hope. Always.
I’ve been writing down thoughts since I was a child, and sharing them on this blog for a decade. Of all the seasons on the calendar, it’s Easter I’ve written about most (save for the annual Christmas letters that have moved from paper to post). Rather than write new Easter things this year, I’m going to share what has been written before. Trust me, my mind is brimming with all sorts of thoughts about how Jesus welcomed Judas into His family, invited him to the table, fed him, washed his feet, and even called him “friend,” knowing all along that Judas would betray Him. He does that today, continuing to pour out common grace on those who deny His love. I wonder how willing am I to be like Christ?
And I’m pondering how we are no different than those who said, “Well, there you go – most certainly He was God’s son. I knew it. I knew it all along,” after blood had poured and skies had darkened and earth had shattered and temple veils had been ripped from from the top down. The same ones who screamed to kill the One who threatened their liberty with His own were the ones with hindsight genius about His divinity. Oh, aren’t we so like that? We claim wisdom in a rearview mirror as if we had it in our sights all along. And all the while, faith beckons us to see beyond sight.
Maybe there will emerge stories – someday. But for now, the thoughts will clank about in my head and heart like a coin caught in a washing machine. I don’t mind at all. The sound calls my heart to the pursuit of eternity. And there is no better season than Easter to consider that pursuit.
I pray what’s written here will cause you to step toward the God who is still seeking, still moving, still loving, still ready to run toward you with arms open wide. This is not the thing of fairy tales. This is a most real love.
Simply click on any title to read the full post. And I’d love to know what Easter has taught you over the years – would you share your favorite scriptures or stories with me in the comments?
Thirty pieces of silver. Enough to buy a nice home with a barn and some livestock on a good piece of land. Enough to make this life pretty comfortable – no more traveling, no more wondering where the next meal might come from, no more wild stormy nights sleeping on boats, pushing through crowds, dealing with the harsh remarks of people in authority. Enough to settle down, maybe get married, have kids. For Judas, that was enough.
What would my 30 pieces be?
Carrying death’s weapon.
Driving the nails.
Speaking the words, “It is finished.”
It’s Saturday. The day bracketed between death and resurrection, between gravity and eternity. The Sabbath – a day linking the stories of old and new covenant. A hushed day in scripture. I wonder what a day of deafening silence must have sounded like.
Easter has long come and gone. All your candy has been eaten and your baskets put away. Chances are, mommy and daddy are STILL finding wrappers tucked away in secret places.
And Christ is risen.
Not had risen. Or was risen. But is risen.
Jesus is always present.
It’s Easter, and we make much of Him.
But something makes me think Jesus would rather us not gather in our finest. In fact, I don’t see Him amidst the pomp and procession at all. Because after He had rolled the stone away and carefully folded His funeral clothes and walked away from a gruesome death and the grave, He didn’t host a party or storm the temple to make His presence known.
On that first Easter, I see resurrected Jesus doing the same thing He had been doing all along. He was making much of us.
This is for the us who give little thought to recorded time actually being split in two by the life of a man named Jesus, who find distaste in the word “Christian” because it sets heavy on our hearts as a weight or a fist. This is for the us – the ones who have been hurt or maimed or forgotten.
This is for you, love. Because I want you to know Jesus. The Christ. The God-Man who defies logic and yet makes sense of it all.
It was Sunday, and the disciples slept. The crowds slept. The judge and jury slept it off like a bad bender. But before dawn, three women walked. It was a woman’s job then to care for the dead, to wipe wounds and cover in herbs and ointments and smell the stench of a life no more. The women walked to the tomb while the world was still silent.
Christ in all and through all. Jesus, who is here without exception, whether or not we believe. This morning, Matt’s encouragement through scripture reminded me that Jesus steps into the very space He Himself has created on this earth to make it thin, to make it holy, make it worthy of life. He is without segregation. As Matt says, “The present is the moment where time touches eternity.”
I heard him quietly whisper “to dust we will return,” as the ashes were placed on my head, and I reflected on the words from my morning devotional. “You are the delighting of God.” God – Holy God, preeminent God, delights in me and wants to delight others through me.
I want to be a holy listener – to hear God reveal purpose in every moment and to welcome Him into every conversation, to celebrate and embrace both the times when He is bold with His words and times when He is strong in His stillness. I believe that, in hearing Him more clearly, I’ll hear you more clearly too. That’s my heart’s desire.
And so I’m leaning in. I’m getting close.
Remember, this is not the thing of fairy tales. This is a most real love.