Well, there are miracles and then there are miracles. You know: Miracles are things that are plain just not supposed to happen. They defy the laws of nature. They upset our understanding of the way things are supposed to be. Some are life-altering. Then there are those that send the earth off its axis.
We go about our lives hoping and expecting that things will turn out well for us. If only. And, when they don’t, we look all around for answers, solutions, manageable directions. Some of us fervently pray for a good ending, for that special healing of our bodies, our relationships, our financial well-being. Sometimes, we get what we seek and sometimes we don’t.
What gives? Why do we get some answers, and not get others? Why do we get some yeses and some nos?
Last September, Diane and I joined a group of friends to tour Israel, culminating in Jerusalem. Immediately upon our arrival, we descended on foot from the surrounding hills on the only possible path Jesus could have taken when he arrived the week he died. At the bottom of that path is the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where he was betrayed and arrested, before being led to his trial and subsequent crucifixion. This simple journey tells us a lot.
Just like his followers who were expectant that the long awaited Messiah, or Savior of the Hebrew people, would finally put things right after millennia of suffering, we seek saving from the many troubles that darken our lives. And for a while everything seemed to be going as planned. Certainly, his followers were inspired by his triumphant processional into the city.
But soon things took a turn. For the men and women who had left home and hearth to follow Jesus, the nightmare then arrived with an all consuming ferocity. The impossible happened — God’s anointed one, self-defined as the Son of Man, the Alpha and Omega, was scourged, tortured and most-ashamedly, put to death. Hope died along with Him that day. Inspiration dealt a mortal blow.
How could this be?
From triumphant expectation on the palm-strewn path to Jerusalem, to utter darkness only several days later in the Garden. And on that lonely hillside the next day, we are observers of a common pattern to all of our lives. What we thought was supposed to be was not to be. Can anyone identify with this?
Perhaps you have experienced something of such a nature. If not, certainly you are close to those who have. Diane and I belong to such a group. It seems like an inescapable reality of life – the sudden, apparent death of hope.
But then the impossible happened again — The miracle of miracles. The thing that forever changed all of creation: Hope came back to life. Life out of certain death. Upon emerging from a hell beyond imagination, Jesus sets the stage for each of us to live eternally with the God who designed us and who loves us beyond measure.He removed the obstacle – He gave his life for our life.
And more than this resurrection of hope – this truth that Jesus rose from the dead – sets the stage for our own resurrection. Certainly one that awaits us at the end of our lives. But also the resurrection of hope that reminds us that those moments when things are not to be – the ones that seem like our very end – might well be the start of the miraculous, unbelievable thing that God is doing in our own lives.
This week leading up to Easter is often called Holy – meaning set apart and unique.
As followers of Jesus we live in this unique space.
It is a space where our circumstances, expectations, hopes and dreams are forever shaped by the fact that Jesus has already done the heaviest lifting and will fully love and care for us forever. It is a space enlivened by the promise that the trials of today, no matter how extreme, will ultimately melt away. It is a space where expectations are not easily dashed and where inspiration comes from the knowledge that, in essence, we are already Home.
save the date
On Sunday, May 6th @ 3:30 PM we will be having our second taste of community event at the Lake Poway Pavilion.
We’re calling it: [seis] de mayo, and it’s gonna be quite the party!
Yes, the fiesta atmosphere will be in full force…
Taco bar has been booked. Churros will be present. Latin Trio band is hired. And if you’re lucky, you might just win an uncommon [good] poncho…
In the coming weeks, we’ll open up registration and share more deets [that’s slang for “details”, FYI… and that’s an acronym meaning For Your Information… You’re welcome.]
In the mean time, save the date and be thinking about who you want to invite to experience a taste of uncommon [community]!
You are loved and valued.
Have a happy Easter!