I have something on my mind that I need to get off. But I want to ask for forgiveness before I begin, since I’m sure that there is at least one reader that might be offended or hurt by what I have to say. So, please forgive me if what you read here offends or hurts you. I know it could, and I’m sorry.
So, I have departed from my family and my upbringing with regard to my beliefs concerning this holy season. Let me explain.
Growing up, I was taught that our Christian hope was in the empty cross. That to look at Jesus ON the cross was to remember only the pain and suffering that He endured. The empty cross meant that there is eternal hope, that He defeated death. It was never made clear, to me anyway, that the moment He died, everything changed. What was clear was that in the Risen Christ was eternal life.
I have a new understanding now, however. I see the events of holy week in a whole new way. It doesn’t mean that I have abandon what I learned, but I have added to it. Learning about how the veil was torn at the moment of death releasing us from the bondage of sin, and reflecting on how the suffering on the cross can ground me when I am stuck and hurting in my own situatuion…these things only add to the glory of the empty tomb on Easter morning!
I know that in some ways, my beliefs clash with those of my family. And for that my heart aches. I want nothing more than to be able to share common beliefs with others in my family. But it’s not going to happen. And it’s not the first time either. Even within the boundaries of my family where the beliefs are similar there are divisions.
This is the catilyst for some of the tears that Jesus would shed if He were sitting here with me. The cracks start in the family and work their way into the church at large. It’s been going on for years–centuries. Is there an end to it? I don’t know. I don’t even know how to prevent those same cracks from invading my little family. My daughter is 7, almost 8. In 10 years, will she still love Jesus? Will she remember that she accepted Jesus into her heart one night just before going to bed? Will she remember that using God’s name in vain is a sin? Will she care? I pray she does. I pray daily that she feel God’s grace in her life even if she doesn’t know it. I’m sure my mother had the same prayers for me. I’m sure that I disappointed her.
I’m going to press on with what I believe, and the way that we worship. I’m also going to pray that minds within my family open up to see and understand the bible and this season in a new way. God’s promise is for them too…and that’s not to say that I believe anyone who believes differently from me is wrong, or will be denied entrance to the Kingdom. I don’t feel that way and it would be foolish of me to assert myself on my family in that way. And so now that I’ve got that off my mind, the freshly empty abiss is now swirling with many, many more thoughts that spawn off of this….another day mabye.