From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
– Matthew 27:45
Last week, all the Southern Region FEMA Corps teams returned to the Vicksburg campus for transition. While normally this is a time to relax and recover from projects, the week has been full of trials and struggles, late nights and long days. (NOTE: not all of this week has been a nightmare, there have been plenty of great, amazing moments with the team and friends.)
This past week has also been Holy Week, something that I had forgotten about at times. Long days followed by long nights have caused me to lose my focus on what truly matters.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
– The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost
Sometimes I find myself asking if I took the right path. If the choices I have made are the ones that will lead me down the path that God has set out for me. I wonder if I have gotten lost in all the confusion and cannot figure out if I am lost or not.
Sometimes it feels like I have wandered so far from God that I can no longer hear him. Sometimes it feels like I have entered the darkness and cannot find my way back.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
– Luke 23:46
Good Friday, while I waited at the ER with another Team Leader (TL) and their Corps Member (CM), I began to remember the sacrifice of the Cross on Golgotha, “the place of the skull,” or Calvary. As hundreds of Christians gathered in churches, gatherings, and as families around the world, I sat in the parking lot of the hospital waiting, thinking about the death that changed the fate of the world, the fate of my own life.
I’ve started rereading old journals that I kept during my time in Honduras and Uganda. Even during the darkest days out in the missions field, I always had hope in God. I always trusted that there was a greater plan than the things I could see.
If we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
– Romans 6:5
In the morning, as hundreds of thousands of individuals celebrate the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, we will rise to face another day filled with our own, personal demons and the darkness of our own lives. We remember this man’s life, death, and resurrection. We celebrate the day that he will come again.
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
– Luke 24:5b-6a
This is our faith as Christians. This is the promise of new life that we celebrate now and for years to come.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas [Peter], and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
– 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
God Bless and PEACE