My husband and our Buffalo city pastor were having a conversation yesterday about the berms of snow finally melting. Steve, the pastor, told David that one thing he had to get used to when he moved from California was all the foulness revealed as the white beautiful snow began to melt. This is not the kind of image that the awakening of spring normally brings to mind. Yes, these berms are filthy right now as they melt away: ugly mounds of black, gritty toxic-looking snow mounds of street debris and animal foulness. They once were white, pristine-looking, snow-covered Olympic mountain range miniatures but now…….
The celebration of the resurrection of Christ is coming. A celebration of the victory not only over death but a victory over all that is debased, decayed and disgraced. But the resurrection of Christ means nothing without that painfully tragic and awkward crucifixion. The Passion Week signaled the end of Jesus’ humble presence on earth with his teaching, empathy, miracles and wonders…snow covered glistening mounds of purity and beauty. There was great judgment, yes indeed. Pure white mounds of snow burned away to reveal dark toxins that had been transferred from us to Him. And then after that awkward, tragic, ugly time came spring in all its glory. The Resurrection.
What is my part in all this? I have a choice. I can deny the ugly with well-crafted exteriors of looks, clothes, charm, sharp intellect, sardonic wit and nice helpful manners, or….. I can acknowledge the foulness not just in my world but in me. I don’t have to be timid or offended at such an image or accusation. I can own it, admit it, confess it and look to the crucifixion for my forgiveness and its meaning of love and then finally be greatly relieved and forever thankful at so great a salvation as Christ’s resurrection promise. This life is not all there is. Thank God! I mean it! For this is great news if this life has disappointed with its hurt, loss and misery which is by far most of this world’s experience. He is risen indeed. And so what does that mean for me? What does this grand biblical narrative have to do with me? If I believe it to be true historically and spiritually then it means freedom – freedom from having to pretend.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
– Chris Tomlin, Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)W