What kind of God clothes himself in flesh? What creator forms and then inhabits his creation? What divine presence comes forth from the womb of a woman? What God gives himself over to his enemies to be tortured and killed, and then saves them all with the very blood they drew from him? What kind of being enshrouds himself in the deepest darkness and then breaks open the day by dismantling death? Who else resurrects life from the dead places of the heart?
A denomination cannot dismantle. A religion cannot resurrect. A sect cannot save. A faith cannot bring freedom. A belief cannot blow open a tomb. A religion cannot rescue.
Only a God who weeps in a garden, who carries a heavy load across a back flayed wide open, who sacrifices his own blood can do these things. Wrapped in flesh. Blanketed with rejection. Despised. Hated. Only one who has wrestled with sorrow and known suffering. Only a God who has lived the messiness of human life can liberate.
Choosing the bondage of limitation. Walking the way of offense. Standing for love in a world divided. Loving the outcasts. Feeding the hungry and the poor…more than food, nourishing them with morsels of his flesh and sips of his blood. Allowing them to digest his essence deep into the core of their beings. His essence which is more than theology. More than words on a page. More than hierarchy. More than expectations, check lists, or platitudes.
If you have touched the hem of his garment as I have, you know. You know the reach born of desperation. You know brokenness. There is no turning away from this God who shares his belonging. Who receives you as you are with open arms. You cannot go back once he has looked into your eyes, seen you, and captured you with his gaze. He lifts your face to his and insecurities die within the intensity of his stare. The pools of endless love look into your vulnerability and form it into strength. The one he sets free will never forget the sound of the shackles falling away and the feeling of being chosen. Valued. Worthy. Only God can make it so.
Once the felt shame is washed away, the lamenting starts. With a clean heart, and a fresh renewed spirit, hope rises and overflows with a waterfall of gratitude but the mind wanders to the plight of a world in deep pain. The heaviness of our times causes the heart to beat slower…with a depth of grief. Groaning instead of praying. Weeping instead of worshiping. Washing his feet with tears of gratefulness but also new found compassion.
This new language is a soul untethered from fear. A soul pouring itself out like perfume out of the alabaster jar. An aroma of awe. A fragrance of freedom. The spirit breathing life through every utterance deeper than words and every salty tear. A spirit, undone by the grace received. Laboring with God in the work of birthing liberation in all its forms; in all the places; to all the people.
From the womb of promise to the tomb of decay, all is grace. Every moment is Holy. Every breath is a sacred miracle; of a God who both creates the breath and breathes it; of a God who both creates the body and lives in it; of a God who both dies in a tomb and rises from it. All for love. All to wash shame from the faces of his children. All to embrace and gather them under his wings.
There is no running from his rescue. No walking away from his wonder. He was. He is. He will be. Reach for his hem. He will never leave or forsake you. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. He is the all in all. He is love. He is life. He resurrects dead things. He breathes life. Always.
May this Resurrection Day embrace you and hold you close, wrapped in the life of a God who sees, knows, and loves you deeply.