+ Last night I preached about how the story of Jesus, for us as followers of Jesus, becomes our story too. Well, here we are. This too is our story. This is the part of the story we don’t want to be ours.
The stripped away austerity.
We have reached the lowest point in this long, dark week. Everything seems to have led to this moment.
To this moment—this moment of the cross, the nails, the thorns. To this moment of blood and pain and death. To this moment of violence and utter destruction.
We are here, in this moment, not finding comfort, not finding consolation. We are here facing not only Jesus’ death, but our own death as well. And nothing fills us with more fear than this.
Here is our identity.
We are reminded of it every time we gather at this altar to celebrate the Eucharist. We are reminded of it every time, in the Eucharist, the priest raises the broken Bread and shows it to us.
Yes, this is Jesus’ death. But it is ours too. In this dark moment, our own brokenness seems more profound, more real. We can feel this brokenness now in a way we never have before. Our brokenness is shown back to us like the reflection in a dark mirror as we look upon that broken, emaciated body on the cross.
But…as broken as we are, as much of a reminder of our own death this day might be, so too is the next 24 hours. What seems like a bleak, black moment will be replaced by the blinding Light of the Resurrection. What seems like a moment of unrelenting despair will soon be replaced by an unleashing of unrestrained joy. What seems like an eternal brokenness will replaced by complete wholeness.
Yes, we might die, but God is not dead. Yes, we might be broken, but God will restore all that is broken. This present despair will be turned completely around. This present darkness will be vanquished. This present pain will be replaced with a comfort that brings about peace. This present brokenness will be healed fully and completely, leaving not even a scar.
God will prevail even over even this.
This is what today is about too. This is what our journey in following Jesus brings to us. All we need to do is go where the journey leads us and trust in the one who leads.