Ruminations over Maunday Thursday, 2008
It’s Holy Week, Thursday, March 20, 2008. This is the day that Christians around the world remember the Last Supper and recall especially the deep grief Christ experienced over his impending arrest, trial, and crucifixion on a cross. And, just as the tragedy of the cross ended with triumph, this week has been filled with tragedy…and with triumph.
The tragedy struck Tuesday of this week when my daughter called me from Colorado Springs deeply upset and unable to compose her words. She was desperately requesting prayer for her best friend’s 22-month old son, Cullen. After dropping him off at the grandmother’s home, mom left for work. Shortly thereafter, Cullen died suddenly in the arms of his grandmother. Despite resuscitation efforts by paramedics, by the time the flight-for-life helicopter arrived at the hospital Cullen’s life was gone. No final answers have been found to the myriad of questions. Without doubt Cullen was tirelessly adored and wonderfully cherished each waking moment by both his parents and grandparents.
We’ve known the mother for more than 12 years, having her join us for every student bible study in our home as our kids were growing up. There were many times over the years when our daughter and her friend were inseparable. Both mom and dad have faithfully loved the Lord Jesus and they’re deeply grieved at this time as they endure this tragic loss.
The triumph comes on this Maunday Thursday when some other dear friends sent a text message along with a picture of the safe and joyful delivery of their 2nd son, Levi, nurtured in the arms of his mother. He’s perfect in every way. The miracle of life has sprung and tears of joy have followed after our long awaited prayers were answered for a healthy, happy child to be born. Like the parents mentioned above, these parents love the Lord Jesus and we couldn’t be happier for them.
Tragedy and triumph are the themes of Easter week and, while the tragic loss of a precious child is remembered, the triumph of new life comes quickly behind! So too, the tragedy of the cross ends in triumph with the resurrection and so everyone from this week can echo the Apostle Paul’s words:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“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.”
As always, triumph follows tragedy, just as the tragedy of Jesus’ death on the Cross is followed by the triumph of his Resurrection. The Lord is always faithful to leave us with hope.
I just read a blogpost from a theologian in the Netherlands who lost 4 of his friends in the week preceding Easter. He takes comfort in the certainty of their future resurrection.
Until the return of our Lord we have plenty of reason to ‘lament’ the results of the fall. However, death HAS (past tense) been swallowed up in victory … God GIVES (present tense) us the victory through Jesus Christ.
We live in the already and not yet. We have a genuine hope!
Thanks, Yossman! Hopeful words indeed!!
And who says grammar is not important ;-).