Monday, April 14, 2014

darkness before light :: a passion week post

From where I sit I can see the light breaking open in the sky like an egg in a frying pan.

It's one of the things that gets me out of bed in the morning.
My alarm goes off early and I wince.
Then I smell the coffee freshly brewed and waiting...and I remember that the sun won't wait.  If I want to watch it paint the first moments of the day I have to make my way downstairs and to my desk for my front row seat.
And so I rise.
To watch it rise.
And these last days leading to Easter I keep thinking about the One who rose.

We call it Passion Week.
By 'passion' we don't mean an intense desire or enthusiasm for something 
or an outburst of strong emotion, as Webster defines.
We mean suffering.


The Passion of Christ is the suffering Christ endured on our behalf.
But...I would challenge you to read the historical account for yourself and not experience your own outburst of strong emotion, your own intense desire or enthusiasm for the One who allowed himself to be completely beaten and broken under the weight of our our sin so that we might be free.

Passion.

Have you ever noticed that?  How our deepest emotions and spiritedness can come bright and streaming on the other side of dark suffering.

It's always darkest before the dawn.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all describe a darkness unlike any the world had ever known.  Our holy perfect God was forced to turn his face from the horrific sum of all sin that was heaped onto his Son on the cross.  And without the face of God...there is no light.

Every morning I sit at this desk and I remember...
Today God turns toward me, not away.
Today I am accepted, not rejected.
Today I am protected, not punished.
Today there will be light, even if I feel dark.

Today I can rise, because Jesus rose.

The day Jesus died there was a deep darkness right in the middle of the day.
Today there can be warmth and light right in the middle of your coldest, darkest night.

This Easter Sunday maybe you're looking for more than candy-filled baskets and artificially-colored eggs.  Maybe there is some darkness in your life and you dream of stepping back into the light.  The good news is this...
God will never turn his back on you.
Jesus took that severest of all punishments for you.
So if it feels like you are walking in darkness, chances are, all you need to do is turn around.  Your Savior is waiting to shine on you.
This Sunday we will celebrate that greatest of truths together and you are invited...

EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES at NEW CHARLOTTE CHURCH :: 9:30 and 11:00
~ you are invited ~
This week...this passion week...
As the light breaks free above you each morning consider the light that could break free inside of you too...no matter how much darkness may surround you.  
And rise.