Easter was different this year. But then, everything about everyday is different these days. None of what we are experiencing has ever been in our lifetime. They say it is historical and unprecedented. I would say these days are unwanted and undesirable.
But they are the days we are living and we need to live them well. We need to discover the beauty in each day; and glean as many lessons as we can.
I read the words before me in the early morning light:
“the morning sun
the evening stars
mid-day rain refreshing
all I can imagine
You have shattered every box
we ever thought could hold You
higher, wider, deeper
I come knocking, devastate me
with Your beauty
consume me with Your glory
leave me shattered
and yet whole, in You.”
(Karin Fendick, From Ashes To Glory)
One has to wonder about the timing of all we are experiencing. This pandemic is being felt worldwide, none have been spared and the virus is no respecter of persons. Easter, the day of Christ’s resurrection, was for all mankind for all time.
Our thoughts have been turned towards remembering the very first Easter. The day of redemption and reconciliation.
The disciples were shattered and scattered on the day Christ was crucified. The days following the resurrection brought them to gather in the upper room and wait. When they emerged from their time of waiting, they dispersed back into the world in power.
During this time of pandemic, COVID19 has shattered our way of living and scattered us to our individual homes. Our routines are gone as new routines seek to be set in our lives. Masks, gloves, disinfectant, and distance have become accepted by those who follow the guideline.
Our hearts are being broken by what has been lost, by the pain and sacrifice of others, and by the grace and mercy of our God as our eyes are opened to each new day.
The words – higher, wider, deeper – stir me to open up to the familiar passage found in Ephesians. How many times our former pastor called us to recite the passage as a congregation and to do the motions. But this morning, the significance falls fresh and new and in power:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height”” to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19, NKJV)
Here in prayer, Paul lays out for us four requests for all of us. He prays for spiritual strength for each of us. As we are strengthened by Him, we experience more of Christ. As Christ works in our lives, we come to know the depth of love Christ has for us. This knowledge then fills us with the “fullness of God.”
We cannot deny these days are difficult. But as we remain at home, isolated from others, may we press into the One who is always with us. As we do, we can emerge from these days different than the way we entered them.
Shattered and scattered,
Difficult and different.
May we emerge whole in Him and in His power.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,Â to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (verses 21-21, NKJV)