Saturday, March 26, 2016


Reflections on Lent and the Cross: Why might Jesus feel closer today?

My experience of God's closeness seems to vary depending on my mood, the condition of my heart, my stress level, my class schedule, and a plethora of other conditions.
But if I worship a steadfast, constantly-omniscient God, why does he not always feel like One?

I've been thinking about two particular instances when God feels especially close, and the condition of my heart and my circumstances during these instances:

1. God feels closer when my awareness of pain is greater.
Why might that be? My awareness of Jesus is often greater.
I need a remedy and I know the Healer. As I go to Jesus with my pain and present it to Him, we share in intimate moments of relationship and I feel His closeness, though it is always there. May we come close to Him in pain and in comfort.

2. God feels closer when my intake of worldly things is lesser.
Why might that be? My intake of Jesus is often greater.
Speaking of comfort, there is so much vowing for our senses. With our devices, entertainment and exciting enjoyment seem at the edges of our fingertips. So we scroll and scroll, looking for temporary fixes to flood our attention span. And for me, it's almost like the life is taken out of me--I am flooded with information that has little power in filling my heart and reducing my stress. Whereas I had gone to such a tool for life-giving refreshment, I am more bored than before I checked social media.
So with the lack, with times like Lent, when I am stripped of things that long before seemed subconsciously inherent to my personhood, I once again return to my truest self as I find God. There in the lack, He is waiting to fill and flood my heart. His Word and my worship of Him is evident. The sparks of my creative intuition of Him once enliven who I know I am in Him!

So let's just take a step back from these internal reflections and realize, now aware of what can happen when I come close to Jesus.
What we honored in the liturgical calendar yesterday was Good Friday. When Jesus was beaten, battered, and bloodied--bearing his own Cross--the Father's perfect love presented us with an act of forgiveness unparalleled. God's only son, part of Him, was sacrificed for a messed-up humanity. And now on Saturday, the time in between His killing and rising from the grave, we wait. We press into HOPE. and we feel the closeness of His whispering love as we ponder the Cross.
Thank you for the Cross. Thank you that it brings us closer to You, Jesus. Our human condition is brought near to a perfect love because of the forgiveness that comes from Your Cross. Nice and close, the veil seems awfully thin and we wait patiently expectant for it to be completely torn in two.

Press into the pain and discomfort that comes when the world's fascinating grip seems far, because there's space for God and His grace, to show us more fascinating love and joy to become CLOSE.

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