Friday, April 6, 2012

Something to Try for the Weekend

Today is Good Friday and this Sunday, we will celebrate Easter.  What will you do with your family to mark these important days?

Here is what I know:  Because of these days, because of this truth, my life has been forever changed.

I did not always know how deeply God loved me.

I did not always believe He knew my name.

I did not always go to church, pray to Him, trust His hand or feel His peace.

But, I do now.  And it has made all the difference in the world to me.

Years ago, I realized that I was lost.  Even when I tried to do good, I failed.  Not always... but often.  I struggled to find direction, to feel value, to understand my small life in the midst of a great big world.  God was a concept to me.  A word.

When I was taught about who He is, my life changed.  And maybe you don't believe me.  Maybe you don't get it.  Maybe this offends you or confuses you or comforts you.  I felt all of that... and it was hard for me, too.  But, the reality is I needed a way to connect to God... not the concept... not the word... the One, True God.  And He wanted to connect to me.

Because I am human, because I screw up, because I choose wrongly, because I sin, that way did not exist.  Yep, I was lost.  And it broke God's heart.

With me in mind, with you in mind, with this broken beautiful world in mind, God sent Jesus to make a way.  He was God on earth and told the truth and offered directions on how we can live and how we can find the path to connecting to God.  When Jesus died on the cross (we celebrate this on Good Friday) He did that for me.  And for you.  He did that to make a way, to remove our mistakes and our screw-ups so that we can sit, loved and forgiven, on the lap of God forever.  Through Jesus' sacrifice, we can be loved in a way that we have not been loved before.

When this was made to clear to me, I accepted Jesus' gift of grace.  And my whole life changed.  The trajectory of my simple, small life was altered.

So, tonight we will go to church and mark this day.  We will remember together the depth of love God offered to us through the gift of Jesus Christ.  And I will remember my own "before" and wallow and wash in gratitude for this gift that I have been given.

And on Sunday, we will awake thinking not of baskets and candy (we will have those too... but later in the day) but of the power of The One who conquered death for us.  We will celebrate and sing and rejoice together because if death can be overcome, surely there is HOPE.

There is, dear friend.  In your darkest times, in your loneliest moments, in your personal pit of despair, I promise you, there is hope.  You need only a seed of faith to accept the gift you have been given.  His arms are open wide to you and in them, there is peace.

Blessings on your weekend.

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