It was at 2:45 AM. After attending a very moving Good Friday service the previous evening, I wakened to images replaying in my mind. As lights and shadows danced because of the flickering candles–the rugged wooden Cross draped in purple was the central focus of every worshiping eye. Just as the service was about to begin, I remembered feeling a “whoosh” of someone moving to sit next to me. It was our grandson Jack and his girlfriend Paige, come to surprise my husband and I as they slipped quietly in. Our hearts touched by grandchildren who chose to celebrate Christ’s goodness with us, hearing the richness of Jack’s voice as we read and then sang about Christ’s willing sacrifice touched me deeply:
“Today O Good Shepherd, You laid down Your life on the Cross for the sheep, and were crucified with robbers, and had nails driven through Your hands and feet. This is the day, O sacrificial Lamb, when You said, “It is finished,” and the veil in the temple was torn. This is the day, the Father’s justice was satisfied by Your perfect offering. Alleluia!”
I was surprised when I finally opened my eyes and the darkness greeted me. The wonder of watching the flickering images of light and shadows as candles were snuffed out during the service seemed to evaporate from my mind. In the next moment I felt a familiar tension tighten in my body as I wondered, “What’s happening in the news?”
As has become my habit during these ever-darkening days, my first thought was to check the news so I would know how to pray. Then it happened . . . feeling as if I bore the weight of the world on my shoulders after watching daily evidences of human brutality against innocent people– I heard His whisper:
“Kathie, it’s not your job to bear the weight of the world;
it’s Mine alone.”
As I reflected on His words, I felt the tension in my mind and body calm slightly as this question seemed to most naturally follow in my mind, “Then what IS my job?”
The answer came as I remembered the opening question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
- What is the chief end of man?
- Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Pondering this in my mind, I thanked God for my “job” and the assurance of His Sovereign Goodness. Almost immediately, relief and joy flooded my heart as I reflected on God’s call: to trust in His Sovereign Goodness in this on-going battle called “life.” Further relief came when I remembered one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture.
The proclamation made in Hebrews 13:1-3 has always thrilled my heart as it so powerfully depicts the ultimate turning point in all of human history–when God’s Plan was fulfilled through Christ, the Cross and His Resurrection:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Who, for the JOY set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
What is the job and joy of every follower of Christ?
It is to emulate the COURAGE and the JOY of Christ Jesus,
who defeated the scourge of death
through His willing sacrifice and resurrection that followed
three days later . . .❤️
We live in a time increasingly filled with uncertainty. However, this is also a season of opportunity. It is in times such as our own that God’s Holy Spirit enables us to stand in His love against evil. That is why I was grateful for the reminder of the certainty we share in Christ as I sang, “Is He Worthy?”* with my church family on Easter morning. As the song affirms the world’s brokenness, it also reminds us of our Hope in the light and wonder of His Faithfulness:
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?
Celebrating His Goodness with you . . . He is Risen!
All to His Glory!
*Is He Worthy?” – Written and sung by, Andrew Peterson.