Thank you for journeying with me on this relentless pursuit of joy. Today is the last day of the Lenten Joy Challenge though really it is but another daily opportunity to continue pursuing, to keep telling ourselves where our hope is. I am struggling with being ill. The world, in love and concern but without definite hope, says keep your chin up. That is not good enough. I do not keep my chin up in my own strength. I do not by myself raise my head, induce positive thinking and plod on. I hope in god. I tell my soul to do it. Psalm 42. This is what today is all about. The reminder that hope is real, tangible, eternally promised. He is risen indeed. Hallelujah. He is risen and so will we be. We have resurrection hope that shatters through the world's night, through the darkness of yesterday - the dead day, the dark day, the day where Jesus is still in the tomb - and into the glorious light of Easter morn.
The slam poet, Mary Kate Makkai says, "You remind me to get up and get on with it, you remind me that flowers can bloom through stone, remind me that Jesus Christ promised heaven to a dying thief, remind me that it has to get darker before you can see the stars.' Yesterday it was oh so dark: friends fled, disciples grieving, Satan victorious, the demons shouting with jubilant joy. But death was the foundation for God's greatest victory; the moment of God's seeming absence from his son on the cross is oh so beautifully re-understood in the light of that same abandoned son sitting at his right hand in glory. He is risen indeed. Thus, on this day of days we cry, Oh death - oh sickness, oh suffering, oh pain, oh plodding on, oh failure, oh repeatedly sinning in the same way - where is your sting? Where is your victory? He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. Come on soul, REJOICE