Monday, May 7, 2012


I had this conversation with my son one day after church. It is a conversation as predictable as the daily “be kind to your siblings” lecture, and so each child knows the rhythm of it by heart.

“Is that Jesus mommy? Jesus died?” (serious face)
“Yes, Honey, He died on the cross. Do you know why? “
“For our sins?” (sad face)
“That's right, but did He stay dead?”
“No Jesus rose!” (happy face!)
“Yes, He rose three days later. He's in heaven and someday when we die we will get to go to heaven to be with Him!”
The child smiles, and moves on to another subject.

And so to the children, death means little. They hear about it often, but death is defined for them not by the cemetery, or by grief, or by their own personal losses. The word death, for them, is always connected to Jesus' death and resurrection.

Before their hearts are broken by death, they hear of Him who was broken to destroy it.  Before they taste great suffering, they taste and see that the Lord is good.  Before they are bowed down by death’s reality, their feet are anchored into the reality of God’s love for us in Christ.

The life of the church teaches the children, and teaches me.  The rhythm of faith, the change of seasons: this is the dance of the Christian. The darkness of sin, death, and Lent, is dark indeed.  We do not deny or ignore that.  But for the Christian, darkness does not overcome. Even in the depths of sorrow, we have been trained to look forward.  We know what comes next: forgiveness, life, and the brightness of Easter.

As years pass the changes are steeper, and more dramatic.  Yet, with hearts trained by the Word of God, we fix our eyes on Him, the source of our hope and our help:

Our Risen Lord Jesus.

 Lo, on those who dwelt
in darkness,
dark as night and deep as death,
broke the light of thy salvation,
breathed thine own
live-giving breath:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!
Verse 2
Thy Strong Word LSB #578

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