West Franklin Family,
Holy Saturday.
I’m glad I wasn’t around then. I would have been like everyone else.
I wouldn’t have believed.
I would have thought it was over. I would have assumed all of my hopes, dreams, expectations, aspirations, and future plans were dead. To my knowledge, no one woke up that first Easter Sunday morning thinking, “Today’s the day!” The faithful women went only to care for a dead body, not watch a resurrection.
Yet, despite everyone’s unbelief, He rose. Read that sentence again. Despite everyone’s unbelief, He rose. Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t based on our belief. In the greatest acts of grace in all of the universe, He died, was buried, and rose from the grave – even though no one believed.
Let me put it bluntly: Though we were acting like faithless fools, Jesus acted for our good.
Followers of Jesus only know grace.
Why do I say this? Well, for one, it’s Holy Saturday. The day God could have looked at the unbelief around the world and said, “Forget it. No resurrection for you people. Not until you all straighten up.” But He didn’t. Hallelujah. I also mention this today because I get the feeling we all need grace right now. Sure, we need it all the time. But especially right now.
Earlier this week I found myself being critical. Mean. Mad. Frustrated. Judgmental. Toward others and toward myself.
“Why can’t ‘so and so’ get it together!?!?”
“Why do they always do that?!?!”
“Don’t they realize how that effects everyone!?!?”
“All they ever think about is themselves!!!”
“Why won’t they just leave me alone?!?!”
“Why do I always do that?”
“Why can’t I get my act together?”
“What is wrong with me?”
“Will I ever be the Christian I so desire to be?”
“What if people knew?”
“Why do I keep doing things I hate myself for doing?”
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because this COVID-19 thing is making me crazy. Maybe this quarantine is finally taking its toll. Maybe it’s because I’ve never endured something like this and the tension has finally mounted up.
And there it is. That’s it. This is where all of us live. This is every single one of us. You know what we need? GRACE. God didn’t wait until we “had it all together” to rescue us. In fact, He did it when we were unbelieving. He entered our mess and loved us in it. He doesn’t beat us with a stick. He died on one so we could live out of that love.
You know what your spouse needs? Grace.
You know what your child needs? Grace.
You know what YOU need? Grace.
You know what your overachieving-on-Zoom-calls coworker needs? Grace.
You know what the person who over-posts about how great they are needs? Grace.
You know what the person who always beats themselves up because they aren’t like the person who over-posts needs? Grace.
You know what your neighbor needs? Grace.
You know what the mom who let’s their child be on their devices all the time needs? Grace.
You know what the mom who quarantines their kids inside needs? Grace.
You know what the mom who lets their kids run all over the neighborhood needs? Grace.
You know what YOU need? Grace.
You know what the person in line behind you at the store who coughs without a mask needs? Grace.
You know what the person who judges you because you don’t wear a mask needs? Grace.
You know what YOU need? Grace.
You know what our first responders need? Grace.
You know what your cashier needs? Grace.
You know what your boss needs? Grace.
You know what YOU need? Grace.
You know what the person walking a bag of food to your car needs? Grace.
You know what your roommate needs? Grace.
You know what the dad who’s figuring out his new identity needs? Grace.
You know what our governing officials need? Grace.
You know what YOU need? Grace.
You know what the person in your LIFE group who forgets to unmute herself needs? Grace.
You know what the person in your LIFE group who forgets to mute himself needs? Grace.
You know what the person who lets their dog poop in your yard needs? Grace.
You know what the mom who can’t do math for their kids needs? Grace.
You know what your delivery person needs? Grace.
You know what YOU need? Grace.
Now, more than ever, we must be gracious. With each other and ourselves. None of us have been here before. It’s nuts. It’s too much. But grace abounds if you let it.
It’s Holy Saturday. The day when no one believed a resurrection was coming. But it was the day before God changed our eternal destinies – even in our unbelief.
Grace. They say it’s Amazing. . . and, oh yeah, it’s a really sweet sound. Go ahead and fill the world with it today. And while you’re at it, give yourself a dose too.
And Grace Will Lead Us Home,
Pastor Matt
**Make sure you know where to find our services and interactions this Easter weekend. Go here, here, and/or here to get everything you need.
NOTICE! We will be offering four different services for your virtual engagement: 7:00 PM (TONIGHT!); and 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, and 4:00 PM on Easter Sunday.
Also, I will be doing another Facebook Live Easter Sunday night at 5:30 pm, here. “West Franklin Talks” podcasts are available twice weekly here
He is risen!