This time of year also brings Holy Week – both the culmination of and the story of the Gospel message, all in the span of a week. On Palm Sunday (as we now call it), Jesus was hailed as Son of God and king but when he didn’t conform to the people’s idea of that role, they turned on him much as Adam and Eve did when they rejected God in their disobedience. Much as I did in the sinful arrogance of my life before I came to know Jesus. On Maundy Thursday, Jesus shows us how we are to come together as one body (even though we are all so very different, just as the disciples were uniquely different), not ignoring or dismissing differing opinions and passions, but putting aside the differences in serving one another. On Good Friday, Jesus taught us the meaning of Godly love and sacrifice while fulfilling the law on our behalf and the promise of God to bring us back into relationship with him. And on Easter Sunday, we rejoice with Christ’s resurrection – the gateway to eternal life in God’s holy presence as his beloved children.
It is this day of rejoicing in Christ’s atonement for my sin and rising from the dead that makes the anniversary of my son’s death not just bearable, but a day of hope and anticipation—for I know I will hold my son in my arms again on that day when we are together in God’s holy presence. That is the joy that is to come! For now, though, I don’t want to miss the joy that God wants to bless me with now so I will share the love, encouragement, peace, and comfort the Lord has given me with those around me. That’s how God brings joy into every moment!