Reversal, Redemption, and Renewal

We all love to re-watch our favorite movie scenes, including the suspenseful ones, and we experience all the nervousness and anxiety all over again as if it’s the first time. It’s almost irrational because we are behaving as if we are in the dark about something we actually know quite a bit about. In part, that’s because it doesn’t have anything to do with what we don’t know, but how we are perceiving in the moment what we generally know. It’s also because we know all too well that death is ultimately inescapable, no matter how many times the hero thwarts it in repeat showings.

THE WORLD IS SCARY. HE IS ENOUGH.

The World Is Scary. He Is Enough.

How is someone who can’t even wrangle the chaos in her own home supposed to be able to handle the unknown? Microscopic droplets in the air? We’re talking about kids who lick railings and handle everything they can reach from a shopping cart. Losing control is no longer the fear, but never regaining it. Safety becomes a stranger. Confidence that if we just know enough about this virus we can fight it slips away with every news update. Here we are, just a few weeks in and who knows how many weeks to go, and I can surely say I’ve failed this test already.

A Tiny Life in a Pandemic

I know the temptation there is to feel the drudgery or the wastefulness of life, especially in this time of stay-at-home orders, economic uncertainty, an invisible microbial enemy, the endless waiting for a positive turn in the news, the exponentially greater hazard for those in at-risk situations (whether health, abusive environment, trafficked, in poverty).

The good news of Jesus’s reconciling and restoring acts of atonement and resurrection is reflected in the tiny minutiae of stories like yours and mine.

Trust or Trepidation: Your Kids Are Watching

Some of us cope by making lists of what to do in the worst-case scenario. We bury ourselves in research and follow up on our discoveries with changes in where we shop, how we cook, what products we use, etc. Lists and rules and preventatives will save us, and we tend to think this not because they actually will but because just doing something measurable seems more productive than just doing something immeasurable, something that doesn’t have results that can be seen or quantified, something like trusting God.

Grace Upends My Rights

The vineyard owner could have chosen not to return to the market square. He could have chosen to go to a different market. He could have chosen not to hire anyone. Just as God could have chosen not to give mercy to anyone, he instead chose to give it to a few despite our absence of merit.

And in no way does this trample upon our rights.

His Name Changes Everything

To most of the world, nothing seemed strange about that night. The same troubles, the same heartaches, the same anxieties, the same dead hearts, the same lost souls, the same chasm between man and God that had been for days, years, and centuries. It seemed that way to them as they drudged and muddled through their days and nights. But if they only knew Who had come to dwell among them, their lives could be forever changed.