I'm blogging daily in April. Learn more about the series here.*
Oh how I do hope you were interrupted by grace over this Easter weekend! I mean, what a better time of the year to reflect on the grace of God than Easter, right? The cross, the curtain torn in two, the empty tomb, WOW! Maybe I should end the post right here. Just kidding.
I had many interrupted by grace moments this weekend, not the least of which was the overwhelming joy that filled my being yesterday being with our people at church and worshiping our Risen Lord! I had trouble falling asleep after "being the bunny" and finishing up some food prep on Saturday night, so I hadn't had much hope for an awake and joyful morning. But God was so gracious to me! (I did crash pretty hard just after dinnertime though.)
The highlight of the whole weekend, however, was being interrupted by confirmation. You know how sometimes you commit to things and at the beginning you know it is what God wants you to be doing or pursuing, but as time passes you start to wonder and you lose the energy of the early days of the endeavor? Well, sometimes I have those moments about this blog or a new resolution. This weekend God specifically used our pastor, Rick Hurley, to interrupt me by grace, not once, but thrice!
In his meditation on Maundy Thursday at the service, Rick spoke about how we can feel so alive and spiritually strong on the mountain tops with the Lord, but then we return to life in the valley and find ourselves with less resolve and betraying Jesus just like a Judas or abandoning Jesus like the rest of the disciples. Have you seen the title of this blog? LIFE IN THE VALLEY! Through that sermon, not only did the Lord encourage me with Rick's reminder that Jesus knows we're going to betray Him, but He loves us still, but He also impressed upon me the need to keep writing. The title of this blog is Life in the Valley, because most of life is lived in the figurative valleys. We can press on in the valley till we live forever with the Lord in the heights!
Then yesterday in Rick's sermon he was talking about God being the God who makes the impossible possible. And in his message he said that WE NEED TO BE OPEN. In my head I was like, Are you kidding me, Lord? Twice in one weekend?! Wow. Thank you! If you have been reading along here this year, you know that God gave me the word OPEN as my theme word for 2015 and I have been writing reflections about that on Tuesdays. I was interrupted by the grace of God encouraging me to keep being OPEN, to keep letting Him stretch me.
I grabbed Rick for a short conversation during the church Easter brunch to let him know how much his sermon meant to me and he said chuckling, "I was convicted by my own sermon! I hate when that happens. I felt my need to be open to the Spirit, rather than relying on my own thinking or routines." Um, interrupted by grace much, Heather? You may recall that this whole series is all about being on the look out for Spirit-breaths of fresh air in the staleness of life lived on autopilot.
So on this Easter Monday, I stand in awe of a God who interrupts us by grace not only in HUGE ways - like the whole awesome message of Easter - but also in very personal, intimate ways that speak to our hearts, You are my child and I love you. Press on with me!