A Glorious Day

“Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave”

As I sang these words on Sunday, I was overwhelmed with the sense that our God is indeed MIGHTY TO SAVE.  Before me, stood 18 people.  Two becoming members of our church, and sixteen who had been through 2 months of classes, and were now making public declarations of faith through the sacrament of baptism.  Whole households were getting baptized as parents embarked on the mighty calling of establishing covenant families.  These are families that have come from the wreckage of poverty, abuse, injustice, and oppression.  They each came with smiling faces, decked out in their best Sunday attire, despite deeply troubling financial crisis, home struggles, and emotional, physical, and spiritual baggage that you could write a book about. Their struggles will not decease because they got baptized, but they were publicly declaring the Rock on which they stand in the midst of those crisis. The Rock which bore the greatest crisis of all-the weight  and punishment of all of our sin.

As exciting as it was that the Lord had and is saving these individuals, I stood in greater amazement at God’s MIGHTY power to save ME.  I did not come from such outwardly hard, or disturbing circumstances, but oh, the hardness of my heart.  The hardness of a self-righteous hypocrite that would, more often than not, like to point a judging finger rather than extend a compassionate hand. Just as Jesus said in Luke 18:24 says” Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” I grew up “rich” in every way….my refrigerator was never empty the last week of the month until the welfare check came, I didn’t grow up with cockroaches infesting my run-down bedroom, I had parents that spoke the truth of God’s Word and their own love for me, instead of being abandoned by one or more of my parents, or being beaten and abused by an alcoholic father, or being verbal abused by a stressed out single mom. I got the riches of the Gospel preached to me at home, at school, at church, at camp, everywhere instead of first encountering the living God when I was thirty, after having made MANY mistakes and gotten used and abused because of them.  I have been RICH in every way. But some of those very riches have led to a self-righteousness and a comfort in what I was equipped with , not a continual crying out to God for His hand alone to save and aid. It truly is hard for the rich to humbly enter the kingdom.  But, just like Jesus said, it has been with the loss of my life, my privacy, my riches, my agenda, that i have truly gained LIFE.  If it had not been for the struggles of the individuals standing in front of me on Sunday, and the need that they came to me with- a need that, as a Christian, I am called to fill by the strength and grace of the Holy Spirit, then Oh, how “rich” i would still be in my own eyes.  It has taken being confronted with the great needs of these dear struggling people, and the brokenness of not being able to graciously attend to them in my own strength  or the “wealth” of my own self-righteousness, that has revealed to me my own lack of wherewithall to “get it together”.  I am the struggling person, confronting the High King of Kings, with a debt I cannot pay, a lifetime of baggage, the influence of the world upon me, the hardness of heart that only ONE can break through.

He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave”

He truly has conquered the grave, including MY grave, the whitewashed tomb grave.

Analicia, who was in my very first Sunday School Class and who I've had the privilege of seeing grow into her own faith in the Lord