(Virgin Mary and Eve
Crayon & pencil drawing by Sr Grace Remington, OCSO
© 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey.)
Today started off with dog poop on the floor. Not exactly the picturesque Christmas morning. Ugh. But the good news is, it got better from there.
We didn’t visit with family, except by phone today. Just watched the boys act like they weren’t surprised (cause that wouldn’t be cool) about the bikes they had parked next to the tree. We didn’t buy them new bikes. We refurbished James’ nice custom mountain bike and gave it to Connor and purchased a barely used BMX bike on Craigslist for Ryland. We didn’t break the bank and the boys now have wheels. Before we know it they’ll be behind the wheel of one of our vehicles. Yikes!
James’ pulled off some surprises by getting the family a dishwasher. We’ve been washing by hand for a year or so. It’ll be nice to not hear such a fuss over whose turn it is to do the dishes. James and I laughed when we opened the gifts we got each other- he booked us both for a Spartan race in February and I booked us both for a Tough Mudder race in March! I guess we’ll either be really fit by spring break or injured.
Today two of my friends lost one of their parents. Both loved Jesus and are now enjoying the fullness of life, joy and glory they were redeemed for! Teach us to number our days Lord.
I went for a run today (gotta start training for these races). I always think a lot when I run. Today I was thinking about that verse in the Bible that says:
“Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Cor. 15:55-56).
I’ve heard those verses before, but it really struck me today- the sting of death is sin! We hate death so much and fight against it so much because of the shame of our sins. If we faced death and we weren’t bearing the guilt andshame of being liars, cowards, adulterers, abusers, vengeful, selfish, proud, oppressive, bitter, lazy, sexually immoral, murderers, etc., well we be ok with it… like coming to the end of a book maybe. But it’s the fact that we know we’ve had this life and we’ve messed it up that makes death sting so much. We long for life. We don’t just want to not die, we want to live. We want to be made right. We want to be free of guilt and shame. Only Christ can free us like that. Only Christ can take away the sting of death because only Christ can take away our guilt and shame and put abundant life in us.
Today is we remembered that Christ has come. He came to bear the guilt and shame and condemnation for our sins and give us life. He came not to take away death, but to take away it’s sting.
And as surely as he came over 2000 years ago, bearing our sins and removing our shame, he’s coming again to make all things new.
Come, Lord Jesus!