Not Taking This For Granted…

For each of the last few years during Holy Week, I read something I wrote on Good Friday the Easter after God turned my eyes toward this new path I am on… 

Good Friday – 2011

Thank You for today, Father.

Thank You for what you did for us today.

Thank You for the [Maundy-Thursday] service last night…

Thank You for working in my heart last night.

I have always had a hard time accepting your love and forgiveness…

thinking that I didn’t deserve it.

I still know that I don’t deserve it,

but I understood last night,

and accepted,

how much you really do love me.

I’ve talked it before.

I even preached it at Camp J last summer.

But, now I am learning to accept it for myself.

Every year for Easter, we are running…

and the whole week is a little crazy.

Every year I lose sight of You.

Saturday comes and I had forgotten

about the sacrifice You made the day before.

I never want to take that for granted.

I’m sorry for the weight of my sins You had to bear on the cross.

Thank You for bearing them.

Thank You for freeing me from the bondage of my sin.

Thank You for saving me from who I might have become.

Thank You for choosing me to walk this path that we are on…

Help me to be a vessel so others can know your redeeming and refining love.

Thank You for working on me…

renovating me from the inside out.

Come inside and clear me out…

all my closets…

my attic…

remove all the crud and make me new.

I invite You in.

Make me who You designed me to be.

Thank You for all You did this Easter season.

Thank You for all You continue to do.

Maybe I’m unique…Maybe I’m the only one who has a habit of forgetting the significance of the whole week until it is near the end. 

If I am, I’m glad that you all do not forget (or take for granted) the incredible significance of this week and the sacrifice made for each of us.

This year is unique in that we honored my dad’s life on Sunday and we buried him on Monday. I cannot think of a better week for us to honor his life, his transformation, his impact, his legacy…and then say, “See you later, Pa.”  This is the week that gives us the hope and assurance that we do not have to say, “Goodbye” but can say, “See you later!”

The stone was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb not so He could get out, but so that we could see that He has risen and He has opened the way for us to enter into His tomb, His death, into New Life!

Every year, I re-read what I wrote in 2011 to remind myself not to let this week pass as if it is a normal week.  This one is special.  I crucified my Lord this week.  I hung my sins on Him while He hung on the cross…He willingly took them.

However, the greatest part of this story is that He loves me so much that He willingly took my sins and their punishment upon Himself – only to rise again to bring me new life so that I do not have to live with that burden of guilt and shame.

He has given each of us the opportunity to live into the life He designed us for.

I am thankful for that and I celebrate that this week.

I never want to take that for granted.

Happy Easter everyone!

2 thoughts on “Not Taking This For Granted…

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