Friday, April 6, 2012

While We Were Still . . .

It's Easter weekend, and we haven't decorated. We haven't bought candy or basket contents. I haven't even thought about any form of celebrating Easter beyond our church services Sunday morning. Part of me is relieved at being released from the obligation of continuing the little rituals from the girls' childhood, which were great when they were children and which now feel merely obligatory and devoid of real meaning. However, another part of me feels guilty that I haven't replaced those rituals with anything else to commemorate this very important holiday.

Today's Good Friday, the day we remember Christ's death on the cross. His death for me. Hallelujah and amen. But that death wasn't just for sweet little me.

He died for the lady who annoyed me at Target last week.

He died for the kids in school who made me feel ugly and stupid.

He died for the family member for whom nothing I do is good enough.

He died for the woman who told me my opinions meant nothing because I'm rich and have never suffered.

He died for the boy I dated who manipulated my feelings for his own amusement.

He died for the friends to whom I bared my soul who walked away and left me alone again.

He died for my gay friend sitting in jail today.

He died for my atheist friend who can talk circles around my best arguments for the faith.

He died for the corrupt politicians -- on the right and the left -- who have used their power for their own gain.

He died for hateful sign-carrying church members who give the Lord they claim a bad reputation.

And yes, he died for me when I was myself hateful, self-righteous, thoughtless . . . all the things I think I've gotten past and am reminded over and over are still there lurking in my nature, waiting to consume my better self the moment I give them the floor. He didn't die for pretty, cleaned-up me . . . he died for ugly, selfish, despicable me. And all the other ugly, selfish, despicable mes I encounter in the world.

But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

While we were still sinners. Hallelujah and amen. This is how we know what love is . . .

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