Today, as light filtered in stained glass and time-honored hymns rose in chorus, I cried. Today, I needed that truth more than ever.
This Resurrection Sunday, I needed the hope of life forever with Jesus.
A hope that is real and true, evident despite the tangled threads of life that are twisted otherwise, obscuring it.
After watching one of the people I love most dearly in this world depart this world and go home to be with Jesus, I needed every last word and reminder of something better to saturate my soul.
All has appeared as shadows and uncertainties hanging heavy on my heart.
While my head and heart know that she is more home than she has ever been here, the aftermath of the past few months and wake of the constant waves has still left some damage.
I need reminders that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead. That He destroyed it and one day it will be no more.
That we do not invest our living, breathing, loving, running, storytelling, picture capturing, writing, hoping on this temporary space we call earth.
So that this faith is not in vain.
Death itself worked backwards, as in the Narnia tales I grew up on.
The song that has been my anthem in this time running through my head.
And this I know, one day I will run through heaven’s brilliant streets of gold. Shouting hallelujah, Christ alone. I know I will dance and sing and bow before the throne. This I know.
Dust to dust, our lives are lived within this framework. Yet this place is not where we put our trust.
I will build my life upon Your love – the history written in the blood surrendered, the stars stretching above, the grace so glorious and infinite – it is a firm foundation. It is the only foundation.
Redeeming love has been my theme and shall be ’til I die. And beyond.
During the message, pages in the journaling Bible were turned to 1 Corinthians 15. The often cited passage about the way the resurrection changes everything. And how we are raised to life with Christ and will be changed forever.
And as I reread those familiar lines, somewhere inside perspective shifted. It all hit me in a new light. From the beginning, it talks about how EVERYTHING rests on the fact that Christ has been raised. That the resurrection happened in history. This gives us hope that we too will be made forever alive. That death does not have the final say, EVER.
One day, this mortal body must put on immortality.
And we shall all be changed.
And death will be swallowed up in victory.
There will be no more sting of death, no more sin and brokenness.
And so we say thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. | 1 Corinthians 15.57
However, this next part is what hit me so hard it took my mind a minute to wrap around it. Because going straight from that, verse 58 comes into the picture. Yet I had never noticed the connection, how it all built on itself.
From all of those glorious truths, because of that hope we hold that death has no victory and Jesus is alive, we are forever alive, comes this next statement :
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Wow. It changed the way I viewed these words. They are already powerful on their own. However, looking at the “therefore” in that, it is because of what filled the rest of chapter 15 that we should remain steadfast. It is from this center that we work and live our lives to His glory. And there is so much hope and beauty wrapped up inside of that. It gives so much purpose to the everyday, a reminder to keep on going because IT IS NOT IN VAIN. It was just what my soul needed.
Towards the end of the service, I frantically scribbled down notes and the flood of thoughts that would not stop. And immediately afterwards, with tears streaming as the strains carried on, we began singing. The truth broke down barriers and I let my heart open to the bittersweet emotions yet beyond compare reality we were singing about.
Christ the Lord is Risen Today resounded in chorus, almost ethereal and full of light.
Where thy victory o grave? …
Death in vain forbids His rise …
Soar we now where Christ has led …
Made like Him, like Him we rise …
One day, with those beyond number, this song victorious will ring out.
The story is true.
There is an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in Him it is not in vain. | 1 Corinthians 15. 58
Now creating from this center, engaging in His work as He turns my life into art based on this gloriously beautiful truth.
I’m tired of doubt and feeling incomplete. Still,
This hope I hold is my reality.
Today friends, hold tightly to that hope. It is real, it is there, even when all else gives way.