Such an impactful day! Easter has many memories attached with it for me. The obvious is family, food, and eggs! This morning we worshipped at my parents church and later this afternoon we will eat with friends. The eggs are not apart of our family's traditions but none the less.....He is Risen!
Today's service was deeply moving for me. The worship was amazing (and I do love me some great worship) and the message was powerful. Today's glory is only as deep as the shame on Friday. The love of Christ is only as amazing as the hate from Friday. The mercy of Christ is only as wide as the punishment endured. This is exactly what Pastor Dan taught me. That today's joy can only have its richness, because Friday had its sorrow. And the message was indeed timely because my parents church was being protested. Outside while Pastor Dan was speaking, there were men, women, and children holding signs for all to see bashing the deep love happening on the inside of that building. My parents church, Kaw Prairie Community, have women in ministry. They welcome and love homosexuals. They baptize infants. This particular church, Westboro Baptist, does not agree with those things. And they feel that the only way to get their message across is to be hateful. To insult. To make a mockery. And my friends----that was Friday. Jesus was offensive to many. The pius. The prideful. The elite. And because of their hard hearts, they hated Him. They insulted Him. They mocked Him. They crucified Him. But the truth of the matter is---I did too. I wish I could say that I live my life glorifying Him, but that is not true. I wish I could say that I have always made choices that made me the best example for Christ, but I can't. I wish I could say that I have always had a deep love and understanding for what Christ did for me on that Friday, but I haven't. And for many years of my life, I lived in a way that kept my feet on two roads. I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted to love the easy. I wanted to give when I had extra. I wanted to do right when it fit my liking. I wanted to do nice things so that people would praise me. I wanted what I wanted and found ways to justify it---all the while telling my Savior that the grace offered to me while He was suffering on the cross was pretty cheap in my eyes. Knowing that I could live today how I please and pray about it tomorrow. But that is not the grace He died to offer me.
This grace is free. Nothing I do can earn it. Nothing I do can keep it. It is a gift. Handed to me with outstretched hands. The process of adoption has transformed me in so many ways. I mentioned that in my last post. It is hard to write the depth of that transformation with the weight it deserves. But the truth of the matter is---one cannot understand the significance of adoption until you understand the true plight of the orphan. And while I began this process knowing the plight of orphans around the world. God has used it to show me the plight of my own orphanness. To help me understand that I too am without hope, without life, without inheritance when I am without Him. That I am an orphan needing adoption. And this I can not take lightly. This truth doesn't give me the freedom to just live any way that I choose---because I don't want to. I must live my life in a way of thanksgiving for this adoption. Thanksgiving that He did not leave me in my plight. He did not leave me an orphan. And even though I am merely a grown up church girl. Even though when I asked Him into my heart, I didn't really know all that there was to know about walking with Him. He didn't leave me when I left Him. He kept wooing me back. He kept loving me deeper. He kept revealing Himself to me. And now, at 33, I am beginning to really see the depth of that choice I made at 13. I am beginning to see the weight of that choice, the sacrifice of that choice, the cost of that choice. And I am so thankful that He kept after me. That He kept fighting for my heart.
So while I rejoice today---I do not take lightly Friday. I rejoice all the more today because the gravity of Friday is so deep to my heart. And I know that there are going to be many more Fridays to come because hate is still in this world. Children are still being trafficked. Children are still being orphaned. People are still being hateful to each other. Prideful people are still fighting for twisted power. Sin is still in this world. So no---Friday has not ended. But one day---Friday will be no more. Christ has come today-----but He is coming! He is coming so that Friday is no more. Sunday is a comin! And we can jump up and down praising Him that He is not dead that He is alive and He will not leave me the same. He will not leave you the same. Sunday is a comin!