“ You are Mine!”
The cross was God’s greatest silence… The very hour when God answered not a word was the hour of the great turning point when God’s heart was laid bare with all its wounds. Even when He was silent, God suffered with us. In His silence He experienced the fellowship of death and the depths with us. Even when we thought He did not care, or was dead, he knew all about us and behind the dark wings He did his work of love. Where should we be without the cross? Where should we be without the knowledge that God sends His Son to us in the silent depths and valleys?…– Helmut Thielicke: ‘ the Silence of God’.
We have travelled together this year through our share of ‘silent depths and valleys’ haven’t we? As your pastor, I have tried to walk with you as I was able, and as Covid restrictions allowed. As your pastor, I know how deep the valleys have felt for so many of you, as 2020 has turned our lives upside down in so many ways.
Soon we will begin another Lent and Easter season. As it does every year, our focus turns to the cross. Dear brothers and sisters, as you begin your walk to the cross, I ask you to remember two things.
1. The cross shows us a God who has suffered for us and therefore suffers with us. Even though God’s light and presence may seem so far away in your darkness. Remember, there was no deeper darkness than the darkness of Calvary… and yet, it is in this darkest of places that God offered God’s greatest work of love.
2. The cross is not the end of the story. The cross led to Easter. On that glorious day, darkness: a darkness deeper and more bitter than any other, was conquered by the overwhelming, earth-shattering, death-destroying light of Easter morning.
So, whenever I remind you, as your pastor, that ‘Jesus is with you’ in your suffering. I’m not saying that you merely have another ‘buddy’ or an encouraging friend who will hold your hand as you try to get through it all: the pain, the darkness, the uncertainty, the confusion, the fear of these days. That would not be enough.
No, when I say that ‘Jesus is with you,’ I speak of the Risen Lord Jesus who has risen from the grave and is with you announcing the good news that evil cannot swallow you up, death cannot claim you. For you belong to him now. Your future is firm, and that future was born on the cross and completed on Easter morning.
When I say, ‘Jesus is with you’, I mean that he comes to you in whatever darkness you face, with the three words that change everything: “You are mine!” Three words. Here is what the cross did. Here is what Easter did. Three words. “You are mine!”
Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift. Gott aber sei Dank für seine unaussprechliche Gabe!
Blessed Easter! Gesegnete Ostern!
Pastor Randy Meissner email: firstname.lastname@example.org cell phone: 780 203 7868