Love Overcame Death

Love overcame death! My mind reels at the idea. I cannot recover. The invisible, internal churning grasps for the truth of the unseen. If angel wings brush the heavens, do they create light on this floating globe?

Astonished women caught a glimpse at a tomb centuries ago. Expecting death and decay, they found hope. Words came through the dazzling light,

Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. (Luke 24: 6)

The Three Marys at the Tomb by William Adolphe Bouguereau
The Three Marys at the Tomb

Can you imagine? How long did it take for the words to settle into their souls? Terror to ecstatic joy in a sentence. The ladies pulled themselves away and carried the message to Jesus’ beloved friends. The men did not believe the nonsense.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24: 12)

Peter. The one who had denied. The one who caught the gaze of Jesus as a rooster’s crow pierced his heart. He ran. I imagine he didn’t look back. His hope was tangled up with those burial clothes. Would Jesus forgive him? Would love be more powerful than death? Peter marveled at the answer.

I still marvel. And the tomb is still empty.

I hope your Resurrection Day was full of hope and wonder.

——

We are preparing for a visit from Dylan’s mother, so I asked a few bloggers to fill in for me for the next two weeks. I’m constantly amazed by the ladies who encourage through their keyboards. I look forward to sharing their posts with you.

I will write as time permits. Mom hasn’t been here in four years, so we have lots of memory-making planned.


Tasting the Bitter Herbs

She stands tall lifting her red plastic cup high overhead. Little eyes sparkle and she tries to follow the words,

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe…

She sips the juice and plops down on her pillow. Table spread before her. Children all around gathered for a normal Wednesday evening church service. Instead led to tables unfolded, flat on the floor. Candles glimmer and children squirm, chatter, and wonder.

Bites of parsley remind. The next bite is maror, the bitter herbs. I warn her it is hot. It is the tiniest amount, but she sobs and spits it out. The taste of slavery. The taste of sin. Unpalatable. Full of misery.

This Passover feast was God’s idea. Families recline at table nourishing souls with food. So wise and yet the symbols blur, overshadowed by one taste burned upon our tongues. The juice washes it away. Sweet purple drops of sap squeezed into a challis and poured.

We all want to drink from that cup, the special cup set aside for Elijah. We do, because one greater than Elijah is here. The communion cup poured out and filled again. Hands of all sizes hold their cups close the the mouth of the clay. The leader gives to all who ask. The words etched by an artisan years ago now wet with drops spilling over the side.

This is my blood shed for you.

Words I don’t understand. Words with promise. Words that take me back to the cross I so easily abandon.

It hurts. Surrounded by hatred and violence.

It’s messy. Smeared with flesh and blood.

I cringe remembering. The god-man groaning in agony as his most precious love turned away.

Crucifixion, 1595 by Jan Bruegel the Elder

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mathew 27: 46)

Alone for the first time in eternity yet surrounded by the human race. Flesh ripped apart. Soul crushed. The consequences of rebellion, my rebellion. I don’t see my sin the same way. I don’t understand how far removed from creation I am.

The one who was there at the beginning knows. He tasted the sponge sopped with vinegar when he longed for the refreshing dew of the garden. He asked us to remember. He promised not to forget. And while he waits for us to love like he did, he prepares another feast. One without any tears.


Noteworthy Links: Lent Reflections Edition

Focused reflections began this week. Simple acts are bringing meaning to conversations. A few questions reveal my youngest doesn’t understand Easter. She knows of Jesus’ birth, but gathering colorful eggs overshadows the resurrection.

Woman with a Candle by Godfried Schalken Or Schalcken

I wonder what clouds life for me? Scraps of paper begging for check marks? Vain imaginations wrangling thoughts? Letter keys clanking in the silence? My eyes are dimmed by the temporal, the only foundation I can taste and touch, see and smell.

Day by day, I attempt to explain the eternal. To live for the eternal.

My children squint with me as we look towards the light. Candles illumine our faces as we read Desiring God Christian Resource Library: Lenten Lights.

I need this light. I need the light of truth to fill me with grace and wisdom. I’ll start by continuously remembering the life of another, the One who came from eternity.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who…humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)


FREE Gift: Lent Activities for the Family

Normally, links will only be posted on the weekend, but this item is applicable now. Miiko Gibson compiled a list of family activities for Lent as a gift to you.

The tradition of Lent is not practiced in my church, but I need to examine my heart and meditate on the sacrifice of Christ, too. Miiko makes the point,

Even if our church observes Palm Sunday, the next time the church meets is Easter Sunday. Good Friday is almost glossed over if the family doesn’t make an effort to think about it.

The activities in this small book are short and meaningful. One activity per day is easily implemented, and a sample calendar is available.

Please visit Our Grace Journey to receive this gift. (Be sure to scroll down just a bit.)

And now I’m curious, does your family participate in Lent? How do you remember the days leading up to Easter/Resurrection Day?


Noteworthy Links: Valentine’s Day Edition

Saint Valentine Observing a Young Couple, the Origin of Valentine's Day

Introducing St. Valentine

The Story of St. Valentine- Short story from a children’s reader

Storynory: St. Valentine- Short audio from my daughters’ favorite site

Valentine Activities

The Toymaker: Happy Valentine’s Day- Cute cards and crafts for printing

Lavender and Limes: Valentine’s Day Busy Book- Simple gift for the little ones in your life

Heart of the Matter Online: Valentine Dough- Instructions for making playful pink hearts

Whatever you do or don’t do for Valentine’s Day, I hope your day is filled with love.