Weeping, Seeing, and Believing

As we wait for Easter to arrive, we may become immersed in the aura of the holiday and the season especially because we are hopeful that we can gradually open up even further in our state and across the nation. We have been grateful for some spring-like weather that has come upon us recently, but spring weather is not being felt now in this latest cold snap! However, we always try to make the best of it because it often gets worse before it gets better.

Sometimes we get caught up in how the present situations of our lives play out and forget that God will lead us through them like an unexpected cold front moving in that will pass in time. In the Bible, Psalm 30:5b reads, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." To me, that means that no matter what we see and feel in a time of failure, disappointment, or regret whether great or small, God still has something good waiting for us! It comes from divine renewal and restoration. For instance, being able to see the colors and beautiful places that we find ourselves in at this time of year is very much in keeping with the renewal and warmth of spring even though winter seems to extend its stay longer than we want it to. If we look around us in the midst of the chilly breezes, we see greener grasses, vibrant colors of the sprouting growing plants and flowers, and when we go to the grocery store, we see all the lilies ready for purchase to brighten up our day.
In other areas, the reds, blues, and yellows of springtime fill our eyes on our computers, tablets, and phones, as some of our wallpaper screen images reflect the new season. We see some of those places, flowers, and bright colors outside too as we walk and ride around.

I have been lifting up thoughts about springtime and signs of new life as we wait for Easter, but today is Good Friday. It is the day that we reflect on and venerate the great sacrificial gift that Jesus gave to humanity - his life. The sacredness of Good Friday should make us more aware of the deep love that Jesus had for all of God's human creation, enough to give up his life so that the condition of humanity would change forever as it was offered complete freedom from the sin that has so easily weighed us down.

Good Friday should be set aside for solemn actions and prayer to help us see how the harsh treatment of Jesus and the tears and fears of his family and followers were part of the total Passion Story. But, it is also a time to compare the world that we lived in this time last year and how God came to our aid with the same passion and joy that was given to the world on Good Friday and Easter.

We see our world much differently than we did just one year ago when we worshiped on Good Friday and Easter. We have been in an ever-changing landscape where what we thought was a normal life has been turned upside down, and now we have inherited a new normal for our life. We have had to adjust to expressing God's love to one another. Medical research and clinical trials helped us navigate the global pandemic. Now we see the world more gratefully, we do not take for granted our health, and that of our family, friends, and others in our circle of care. This year, let us take time to engage ourselves far beneath the surface as we honor, give thanks, and celebrate the gifts of Good Friday and Easter. Amen!

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