The word that saves is right here,
as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest.
It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”
~ Romans 10: 9-10
I learned something new about Easter on Sunday. And it has set me on my heels. Mary got to the tomb in the dark. Before the sun came up. This fact has been sitting in front of me for decades and I just “saw” it on Sunday for the first time. I am sure other pastors have mentioned this, or that it might have explained why there was a sunrise service (for ever!) Sunday morning, the sun rose again for me, and all of the sudden the application was new and amazing!
So many good things that happen to us, or that we experience end when our hope dies, when the lights go out, when there is nothing left. And yet, the work is not finished in the dark of night. The gift of that experience begins rising before the sun. All of a sudden, I see hope as a dream seems to die, or does die. Like Mary, I have walked to the tomb in the dark, thinking that hope died, but it is my faith that is being tested and readied for the sunrise.
Amazing Easter moment #2. The Resurrection happened between Jesus and God! It was an intimate experience much like our own physical death. God and the person who is passing are having that experience most keenly.
And finally, Easter moment #3! A miracle occurred not when the gardener called Mary as she left the tomb, but in her recognition of him! I had church right there! (And yes, I wrote the seeds of a poem in the bulletin!)
Whatever you are facing, darkness seems to be vital to the process. And when we recognize Jesus in that process, new growth occurs, a rising in our spirit, a maturing in our faith.
So thankful for the way that the Lord is using our pastor. So thankful for emerging from the dark, into faith.
Gloria Estefan – Out of the Dark
Because of Him,