Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This Day Will Come to An End

Sorry, I haven't written for awhile.  It's been busy but I've been thinking about it.  I'm not sure I have a very ground-breaking word today, original to me or from anywhere else - but it is something - a new mercy I discovered in Scripture this morning.  I thought I would share and it goes something like this: No matter how this day is turning out, it will come to an end.

I've been slowly (very slowly) reading through the Gospel of Mark.  For several months now, I've been getting to know this book and by extension, it's author and subject.  Mark, to me, presents just the facts about Jesus' ministry.  He doesn't mince a lot of words, focusing on that Jesus is Who He Is, and this was His life (take it or leave it.)  There isn't a whole lot of detailed explanation, like in Matthew and Luke.

Mark's Gospel is widely-believed to be the first one written, and that the other 2 Synoptic Gospels, again Matthew and Luke, used his manuscript to help craft their own.  (John's Gospel is of a whole different form, purpose and audience all together) .  John Mark was a companion of Peter, as well as a witness to Jesus' life himself (he is believed to be the naked kid who ran away from Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested).

In going through this Gospel so slowly, I've encountered a lot of nuggets in every chapter, and even each verse.  It's very interesting, as well as, challenging.  Luke's always been my favorite, but reading Mark gives me a lot to think about.

Which is where I am today.  I was reading Mark 14 and 15, about Jesus' arrest (which is where I saw Mark streaking) and His trial and crucifixion.  Of course, I was crying.  I never fail to be distressed reading of my Savior's distress on my account.  What He went through, what He endured for us...for me...was......beyond words.  An complete innocent subjected to gross violence and abject humiliation.  And more than that, He was the The One, The King, The Lord of All, come to save us, restore us, heal us, consecrate us for the work we were created to do.

And we brutally killed Him. It's bad.

When I got to the end of Mark 15, I was struck by the fact the women were still there - the ones who'd cared for Him all throughout His ministry; they were still caring for Him.  They were watching and waiting.  They were mourning, grieving and probably desperate for the Father on behalf of the Son.  They participated with Him, even if from a distance.  They were still there.  That made me feel better, to see their faith, their submission to Him all the way to the end of His earthly life, before His glory life began.

After seeing that, I noticed something ordinary - yet something sweetly remarkable.  The day of His death, His shameful death on the Cross, the torture, the humiliation, the blatant persecution ended.  The day was finished, in a very real sense.  Not just in the eternal sense of Christ's finished work, but for us in the temporal, time-shackled world, we see the day close.  Following the 3 hours of miraculous darkness, in which the Father put a funeral veil over the light of the Sun, regular darkness took over.

The Lord, at the beginning of Creation, set in motion a start and a finish to each day.  Even in the midst of the most revolutionary act of love in all of history, God's own death for humanity; He made sure Creation was in order.  He is a God of order and He kept it up, even as He, the Father, mourned what had to happen to His Son.

Sunset in Italy - courtesy of Natalie
24 hours is all we get.  The mercy of the Lord, in His great and holy wisdom, when He set the earth in motion around the sun, was to give us an end to every day.  So no matter how wonderful and majesty-filled, the day will close.

By the same token, no matter how awful the day, it, too, will eventually one for the history books.

In thinking about some of the bad days in my own life, I'm incredibly grateful for this plain truth.  If the day doesn't end, the new mercies of the sunrise won't come.  But it does and they do.  Great is His faithfulness!  (Jeremiah 3:20)

My pastor preached a daisy-cutter bomb of a sermon this past Sunday.  And when I say that, I mean, it blew the room out it was so powerful.  You could practically hear the bondage breaking as his words poured forth.  You can watch/hear the whole thing via this link, the sermon starts around minute 40, from August 24, 2014:

The heart of his message was: if you are still here, if you are waking up this morning, God's Promise is still alive in you.  There is still another chance.  The mercy's are fresh.  No matter how yesterday was, in shame or glory, that day is over.  Your choice to be a part of God's plan is reset.  If you are alive and breathing this morning, you have another chance to say, "Yes, Jesus."

This day will come to an end.  I challenge you to watch it close with joy in your heart.  I challenge you to be grateful for what come your way, and to surrender to what the Lord is doing in you and around you.  This day will be over soon, so don't waste your chance to experience God's grace, mercy, forgiveness.....His love and faithfulness for you.  

He is with you.

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