I remember times when the deepening of the shadows filled the yard and the sun did a slow dance in the space between night and day. Summer sounds of crickets, birds and the occasional croak of a frog created a richness that filled in where the shadows left off. Life with the neighbor kids revolved around one more game of tag or kick the can before the sun said it’s final goodbye. The space between the light and the shadows was safe, comfortable and treasured.

I remember another space of deepening shadows that did not look as safe or comfortable. The time was over two thousand years ago and the place was a hillside. Three crosses stood out as silhouettes against the darkening sky. Three men were hung side by side. Two were criminals and one was hung to fulfill His Father’s plans. People gathered in the shadow of the crosses. Some were family or close acquaintances and others were bystanders cheering on the death of three men, not understanding what was taking place. These shadows were tainted with sin, destruction as well as a small light of hope.

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As we approach the shadow of the cross this Friday and everyday of our lives, we can choose to let the shadows consume us or look beyond to the light. We can choose to stand with the boisterous crowd jeering and name calling because that is what the mainstream expects. Or we can choose to stand with the small group gathered whose hearts were breaking because their friend, son, and Savior was dying.

As we walk toward the cross, what will we remember? Will we look past the shadows that covered the hillside? Will we seek to know what happened next? What will our response be as we hear the shouts of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Clopas,  when an angel of the Lord shared the Good News- “Jesus is risen from the dead”?

But we must first embrace the shadow of the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus before we can stand in the light of His resurrection. We must open our hearts holding our deepest secrets and release them in the shadows. We must admit we are weak and in the acknowledgement embrace the strength and forgiveness that comes from Jesus. We must say “yes” to the light and in saying “yes” we are given the beautiful gift of grace and forgiveness. We become a new creation in the light of the resurrection and the shadows of sin and destruction are wiped away.

This week we look toward the cross. The agony, callousness and piercing thorns become love, hope and a future three days later when Jesus rose from the dead. Our hope is in Jesus.

He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

Looking to Jesus to redeem our messes begins when we sit at the foot of the cross and say yes to following Him into the resurrection of our own selves away from the death and destruction of the enemy. And even if all our plans never come to pass, our redemption still comes with the gift of Jesus’ grace and love.

Let us walk slowly, with purpose and a deepening sense of the beautiful gift we receive each time we place ourselves at the foot of the cross.

Blessings of grace along the way,

Mary

P.S. I leave this Saturday for Nicaragua. I would cherish your prayers as I finish preparing and then work with the team when we hit the ground. I will be gone one week. Thank you in advance.

Blessed to be linking up with these fabulous ladies!

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and Dawn for Grace Moments

 

 

 

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