(Originally written as part of a writing + photography exhibit for Christ City Church's Good Friday Art Collective)
S H A D O W
The darkness is pervasive and deep.
Turmoil and anxiety are our constant friends.
Depression a weight we cannot shake.
Hopelessness the language most easily understood.
Wreckage feels normal.
The darkness is home almost.
He is Dead: the skeptics scoff, laughing at naive hope.
He is Dead: the critics sneer, criticizing the romantic ideals of seeing life in this mess
He is Dead: the injustice screams, pointing to the worst of what we are.
He is Dead: my heart begins to wonder, question, weaken.
Where is peace?
Where is our rescue?
Where is the promise of new life?
Are we the foolish ones?
Are we the misguided dreamers?
All we see is shadow.
All we know is darkness.
All we witnessed was the death of the One we thought was our hope.
L I G H T
But there's a glimmer.
A glimpse almost, of new day dawning.
A ray of light in what seemed to be impenetrable darkness.
Warmth breaking in-between the dark of night and the light of day.
The thawing of ground too-long frozen.
Life breathed on bones deemed forever lifeless.
An end to the night that felt relentless and suffocating.
Could it be? This is mysterious, bellowing, powerful, and almost intimidating promise.
Could it be? This is middle space: unknown, yet laced with hope
Could it be? This is grief and this is joy sharing the same space
Could it be? All of history stands with bated breath.
Then comes the morning.
The sun peaks over the horizon, illuminating the world around in warmth.
The darkness is chased away, fading back into the shadows.
Soon gone entirely, the world illuminated in new light.
This is redemption.
This is rescue.
This is resurrection.
And, with the full light of the new day dawning, the world would never be the same.
No inch of human existence would ever be the same.
C E L E B R A T I O N
This is the greatest news the world will ever know.
The greatest reality that words will forever fail to describe.
Creation too stands in awe, as if to acknowledge that this: this changes everything.
God is alive.
He is Risen: resounding as a life-anthem for all who know the power of those words.
He is Risen: the whisper that echoes across creation as the sky dances and the seas rejoice.
He is Risen: sung on the lips of every nation, tribe, and tongue.
He is Risen: giving rise to dancing and singing and shouts of unrestrained joy.
He is Risen: the new foundation, definition, and standard of all hope.
He beat death.
He forever silenced sin.
He made a mockery of shame.
And in the aftermath: we make our homes in resurrection life.
Because of this. Because of Him.
Resurrection life is our permanent residence.
The darkness is no longer our home.
We are no longer strangers, aliens, or dead-men walking.
Hope is no longer hopeless, because Hope now has a name.
A new day has dawned.
We are known.
We are free.
We are rescued.
We are alive.
And in this life, in His resurrection Life, we now make our lives.
It's here where we anchor our hope.
It's here where we will never be disappointed.
Because of this, we finally know what life is.
Because of this, we finally know who Life is.
He is Risen: Let the whole world rejoice.