First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Blue feelings are about to change color.

March 26, 2016

I think we would all agree that death stinks...and the blue melancholy that follows death is overwhelming.

    Lost relationships, broken communion, unfinished conversations, and in some cases vanquished hope feed into this stinking environment of death. The raw emotions of grief, while they may subside, are usually lying just below the surface of a person. It doesn't take much to bring those emotions barreling to the forefront. No warnings and no bells ring to alert of a renewed 'blueness'.

     A couple weeks ago I was watching an old episode of NCIS. 'Ducky' was walking along the beach talking on the phone when a heart attack overwhelmed him and he fell to the sand. In an instant, my eyes teared and I was swept back to 2001 when my father was felled by a heart attack. I was not present when dad went down but I have imagined what he may have experienced in those few minutes. Heavy blue feelings grabbed me and threatened to submerge me into a place where breathing becomes difficult. Then I remembered of dad's allegiance to Jesus and blue turned to bright white!

    Today in the biblical narrative is the bluest day in history. Yesterday those who loved and served Jesus saw him nailed to a tree and die. It was sort of a crossroad event. The followers thought Jesus would go one direction and he chose another way. The following verses from three of the Gospels really don't encompass the blueness of the moment. The verses do point toward the futility of death. People left Golgotha caught in a vice of grief, they went home and prepared death spices for proper burial, and their hope was bled out onto the ground.

 

        "He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other

        Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb." (Matthew 27:60b-61, NIV)

        "Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience

        to the commandment." (Luke 23:56, NIV)

        "Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there." (John

        19:42, NIV)

 

The irony of talking about death is found in the work Jesus did on the cross just yesterday. Death was defeated yesterday and it just didn't know it. Our human understanding of life and death is far too narrow to broach the subject of Christ's authority over all things. While the disciples are hiding today and resting on the Sabbath, Jesus is lying dead in a tomb awaiting the earth-shaking event tomorrow that will announce to the world of His authority. God intervenes in the bleakest situations and especially so in our sinful broken state. Jesus Christ rises tomorrow morning and we'll celebrate this historical fact around the globe. While blue feelings desire to creep in and steal our joy, Jesus sweeps this blue 'demon' away with one mighty act.....the resurrection.  

         “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the

        power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

        (1 Corinthians 15:55-57, NIV)

If blueness is strangling you today, embrace Christ and His promises and tomorrow we'll celebrate the glorious awakening!

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