Hope in the midst of darkness
Beloved Church Family,
I missed you on Sunday and, due to the weather, it appears that some missed coming together as a church family. Irregardless of the storms, we are a church family and I am prayerful that all who can will be with us on this upcoming Sunday that some call Easter Sunday and others call Resurrection Sunday.
In Easter Sunday, we have the hope of the dawning of a new season, Spring, coming out of the cold and sometimes dreary season of Winter. It is how the earth awakens to a time of birth in the plant and animal kingdoms.
In Resurrection Sunday, we also have the hope of the dawning of a new season, Salvation and Reconciliation, coming out of the fruitless and sometimes dark season of Sin. It is how the whole creation in heaven and earth remember that we have a Savior and Lord in the one-time sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
On this day, Wednesday, March 28, the middle of what we call Holy Week or Passion Week, the scriptures are silent. We have narratives regarding Palm Sunday (when Jesus entered Jerusalem), Monday (when Jesus cleansed the temple, cursed the fig tree, and wept over Jerusalem), Tuesday (when the cursed fig tree died, Jesus taught the Olivet Discourse, and Judas sold Jesus out to the Sanhedrin), Thursday (the Last Supper, last teaching, the Garden of Gethsemane prayer, and the completion of the betrayal by Judas), Friday (Jesus was tried, humiliated, and crucified), Saturday (Joseph of Aramethea's new tomb was guarded where Jesus' body was lain), and Sunday (HE ROSE).
We have a Sunday to Sunday narrative but nothing on Wednesday.
We have taken that Wednesday and many bodies of worship use it as Bible Study or H.O.P.E. (Hour Of Power and Encouragement) Wednesday as we have started to call it.
Why do we need a reminder of these things?
It is because we need to remember that God is still at work on our behalf whether we consciously see it, hear it, or know it...or not.
We do not know what happened on Wednesday. We are in the dark about it. Where was hope?
All we do know is that Jesus was hailed and praised on the first three days. He demonstrated His power and authority from heaven on earth during those three days.
Then, on the fourth day, the Gospels said nothing. It was dark on this matter. Where was hope?
On the fifth day, He said goodbye to His friends and He was betrayed by one closest to Him. What a dark day? Where was hope?
On the sixth day, He was nailed to a cross for our sins. What a dark day? Where was hope?
On the seventh day, His body was laying in a grave; but, His Spirit was unbounded. To the outside world, He was dead. To the outside world, it was a dark day. To the outside world, where was hope?
On the next day, Sunday, Easter Sunday, or more appropriately, Resurrection Sunday, He rose from the grave with all power in His hands. It was no longer dark. Hope had risen again.
Beloved, where there was hope is where this is hope and where there always has been and where there will always be hope. In Jesus.
You see, we do not know what happened on that Wednesday. But, keeping it 100% real, we do not know what is going to happen on any of our days. Only God knows.
But, the scripture does tell us something about what occurred after the pivot point, that Wednesday of darkness in terms of scriptural information.
The next day, Thursday, after Jesus had identified Judas as His betrayer, Judas, John 13:31 says,
"When he (Judas) had gone out, Jesus said, 'Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.'"
On the cusp of His darkest days, Jesus was celebrating His coming glory as if it had already occurred...even prior to Him dying a horrific death.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be boldly and courageously confident that in our darkest times, such as Jesus knowing that He was being betrayed to the death, God is with us and God will receive glory through us if we keep our hope in Him.
What is your only hope in the midst of darkness? It is in Jesus the Christ.
As we prepare to come together for Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, please do not forget the fact that you have hope in the midst of darkness.
This note was longer than usual; but, God has filled the silence of the day that scriptures do not speak to.
I pray you will receive what God has given you in this day.
I love you and look forward to seeing you on Sunday, Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, or perhaps we should also call it HOPE Sunday for on this day we celebrate the fact that HOPE rose to die no more.
You come on Sunday and bring someone with you. God has a word for us all.
God loves you and I love you too!
P.S. Thank God for allowing hope to come from Zion Memorial as the food pantry and clothing closet was open on a dark day and brought light to 30 families. As Martin Lawrence used to say on his television show, "You go girl!", You go Zion Memorial! You go in the glory of God and let His light shine on you and through you to bless and bring others to His eternal kingdom and His everlasting love. Bless you!