So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us? 32 For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all,[a] he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give. Romans 8:31-32 TPT
The darkness of the pandemic has consumed our thoughts and actions in these last few weeks. Losses have filled our days. Losses of:
- Gathering in schools, churches, weddings, funerals, family reunions, visitation of loved ones in nursing homes, playgrounds, sporting events, eating out, the list is endless.
- Earning a wage and having the security of dependable revenue sources.
- Loved ones to death by an invisible virus. A devastating loss beyond words. The deaths are random striking old, young, poor, or privilege without predictability.
- Planned dreams with careers, educational endeavors, self-owned businesses, home selling, home buying, retreats for renewal, or that dream vacation.
- Capabilities of purchasing necessities such as paying rent for shelter, acquiring food, getting hair cuts, buying clothes, or gifts for loved ones.
Consequently, these losses have deepened the darkness. They are fueling fear, anxiety, despair, anger, confusion, or doubt. They consuming thoughts, and build stress.
Rediscovering in the Darkness
Jesus experienced darkness as he hung on the cross during what we call Good Friday. Feeling forsaken is entirely understood by our Saviour. The crucifixion of the Son of God was a shock, an unexpected reality for the disciples. What does all this mean? Saturday came after Friday before Jesus arose on Sunday. Saturday was a dark day of fear, anxiety, anger, and confusion filled with an unthinkable loss…The Son of God is dead.
Like the disciples, we are stuck between a significant loss and the risen light of renewed life. Are we waiting on God to bring us out of the darkness as He did His son? What have we rediscovered in this time of darkness that will resurrect the light in our lives?
Physical distancing may be necessary and leaves us starved for connection. The rediscovery of intentional contact has become a light of renewal. In the darkness of this pandemic, many points of light are being rediscovered as we live through our Saturday:
- Rediscovered the importance of connection as we choose to have appointed times to Zoom with family and friends. Make actual voice calls to neglected people. Plan zoom meetings with church members to encourage and study God’s word together. Watch live sermons or podcasts that inspire and inform.
- Rediscovered that the “Church” is not a building; it is the family of believers who long to connect.
- Rediscovered gratitude for our family, others that serve our towns and communities, our health, love of friends…
- Rediscovered our strengths, gifts, quiet moments in nature, the wonder of spring with the comfort of the consistency of the seasons.
The realization of these rediscoveries can be life-giving!
Our lives may never be like they were before the pandemic. One thing is for certain, love wins. It is never canceled. Perhaps we have learned to love more. Love is the light of Easter, our Sunday is coming.
The picture at top of the post of the dogwood blossoms are in full bloom this week. They are a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. The legend of the Dogwood tree is described in the following poem:
Legend of the Dogwood Tree ~ unknown
In Jesus time, the dogwood grew to a stately size and a lovely hue. “Twas strong & firm it’s branches interwoven for the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen. Seeing the distress at this use of their wood Christ made a promise which still holds good: “Never again shall the dogwood grow large enough to be used so slender & twisted it shall with blossoms like the cross for all to see. As blood stains, the petals marked in brown the blossom’s center wears a thorny crown. All who see it will remember me crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree. Cherished and protected this tree shall be a reminder of all my agony.
Romans 8:31-32 tells of God’s devoted love for us through Christ. The following quote from Eugene Peterson’s devotional Bible (pg 749) highlights this love as a source of life:
Christ’s love brings a springtime of resurrection to our passions. Wintry doubts are dispelled. The passion of prayer is given new life, new growth. And love blossoms in the most fragrant of ways.
May the reality of Easter settle into your soul as you rest in the certainty of God’s love for you. God be praised, Hallelujah! Listen to this song and be blessed as we celebrate God’s love for us!