God did not forsake Jesus in his pain, and God does not forsake us in ours. In fact, it’s possible that in pain we come to know him better than before. (Smith, Mandy. “Unfettered” pg 151)
Day 45 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Russia’s latest atrocity in this deadly war is a missile strike on a crowded train station that killed at least 52 civilians, including five children. The pictures captured in that strike showed blood soaked children’s toys and bodies covered amidst luggage bags. Russia state media is trying to blame Ukraine for firing the missile, but the world knows better. Not that it matters, the world continues to watch this war from the sidelines.
The National Weather Service released their initial survey of the tornado that touched down on Tuesday night in our county. The tornado only lasted fourteen minutes, traveled 11 miles, but completely destroyed 18 homes and did major damage to dozens more. The amount of goods donated is reassuring, seeing the same major players that were in Kentucky in this writer’s own county is a testament to the good that is in the world. American Red Cross, Missouri Disaster Relief Team, Team Rubicon, were all highly visible doing work at the main donation collection and distribution center in Ellabell, GA yesterday.
Today we close out our reading of Chapter 6 in Ms. Mandy Smith’s book “Unfettered,” with the lines referenced at the top of this post. I saw the hands and feet of Jesus yesterday as many came in to donate their time, money, and services to help complete strangers. Every interview I have seen in our local news has featured a victim of the storm that praises God in the mercy of His salvation, and praises Him in the stirring He puts on the hearts of many. In the pain of those who lost all they had from recent storms, in the pain of death and war, many around the world cling to the hope and promise of a good, good Father, who rescues the hurt and the weary.
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the day when King Jesus entered Jerusalem ahead of the Passover festival, His final time entering His beloved city in His mortal body. The Jewish crowds greeted Him with palm branches and shouted “Hosanna, Hosanna, Glory to God in the highest,” as the great Healer and Redeemer returned to them to perform countless miracles in His final days in flesh and bone. Five days later, this same crowd would be yelling “Crucify, Crucify,” as the devil infiltrated their minds and sought to expose Jesus as a fraud, a fake, and not the Son of God. But we know how that worked out for the devil. Jesus was willing to endure one of the most brutal forms of punishment, to hang on a cross, to die a mortal death, to pass from this world and to defeat the devil in a battle we will only be able to hear about when we leave this world and enter the afterlife. I hope that I make it to Heaven when my life ends here on Earth, just so I can sit at the feet of Jesus as He recalls that glorious battle to millions and millions every year at the celebration of Easter. I can not wait for that day, to hear exactly what happened between Friday’s crucifixion and Sunday’s Resurrection.
Hillsong UNITED has a new album scheduled to be released at the end of this month, however, they just dropped half of the new tracks yesterday, and while the title of the track below may touch a nerve for those affected by recent storms and the war on the other side of the world, the WORDS of this track are a beautiful reminder of the importance of this Holy Week. With stirring instrumentals, “Blown Away” is a wonderful song to celebrate the love, mercy, sacrifice, and passion of the Savior of the world, the Passion of Jesus Christ.