It’s a breezy, cool, spectacular day on my mountain, which really doesn’t seem fitting at all for Good Friday. It’s the one day of the year where dark and dreary seem appropriate. The only sad thing about the landscape is that there are now more cherry blossoms on my path than on my tree. Its glory is so short-lived.
I wish that the pandemic had the lifespan of the cherry blossoms. In another week’s time the tree will have no evidence it ever blossomed at all.
Please Lord let us have that kind of recovery, one that is undeniably due to Your mercy alone. And in the meantime, may we all marinate more on Your Word than on the headlines. May we be sober-minded in evaluating data and not influenced by those who peddling fear and drama. Let us be like the Psalmist who said, My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
My skill set is limited and does not include being a lookout. I know this not because I have ever been a watchwoman, but because I require a lot of sleep and cannot even stay up late. My husband used to work many overnight shifts. A decade ago he did many 7pm to 7am shifts per month as a teleICU physician. He’d call to check on me and the boys before we went to bed, and I would invariably yawn my head off. Not only could I not stay up all night if my life depended on it, I couldn’t manage to not make it worse for the person actually living the watchmen life.
Nevertheless, I love the imagery. Can you imagine how hard the watchman looks for the first hint of morning light? How intently he surveys the horizon? How elated he is when dawn breaks? This is how we should feel on Good Friday. We know, just as the watchman knows, what is coming, but we should be waiting for Sunday, with an intense longing.
After all today is a reminder of how we short we fall. James Boice wrote, “We need to recover a sense of sin. We need to discover how desperate our condition is apart from God. We need to know that God’s wrath is not an outmoded theological construct but a terrible and impending reality.”
Today is the day we recognize that Jesus paid the price for all our sins, that he bore the wrath of that terrible and impending reality. We stand waiting for the Lord, knowing that Sunday is coming. But before we turn to one another and once again proclaim, “He is risen,” may we embody these words of Jesus more than ever before:
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven — for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.Luke 7:47
May we love much because we have the tiniest glimpse of what we’ve been forgiven.