Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Earth Shook

From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” Matthew 27:45-54 

Some times in our lives are just devastating, horrific and life altering. We are never the same after them. Our world view has been shattered, we don't know how to move forward and we are stunned into silent agony. I have had some times in my life when the earth shook and the resulting loss was cataclysmic. We all have, if we are alive at all. one thing I do know is that, when the earth shakes, there will be more. Life will be completely different yet we will not be alone as the world is transformed around us.

Our Gospel from John retells the story of the crucifixion and the cataclysmic events were part of that awful day. Rocks were split, the dead raised and soldiers confessed their faith in a dying man. Their lives and our lives were shattered that day. Shattered so that we can see the new world around us. Like seeds shattered and broken so new life can emerge, like an egg cracked open and undone so life can step forward, we are invited to embrace our shattering moments, holding on for dear life as there is change to come.

Today I ask God to help me hold on and seek the new life that awaits. May we stand with those whose lives have been shattered, whose world have been terribly shaken, holding them until they reach the other side.

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