This past Friday was Good Friday. For the last three years, the church Julie and I attend, Fourth Reformed, has partnered with Creston CRC, and New City Church to host a Tenebrae Service. This year’s service was incredibly moving and really brought me to a place of experiencing the chaos of Jesus’ last night on earth before he died. There were more than a few times in the service that I found myself weeping, and feeling raw, knowing my sin contributed to Jesus horrific death.
After the service, I returned home to my kitchen which is currently under major renovation. The drywall had been hung, and while it wasn’t a bad drywall job, there were more than a few cracks and holes to be filled. It was 9:00PM, I changed into grungy clothing, and began to mud and tape our kitchen.
As I hung the tape, and covered gaps with mud, the room began to come together. I wanted desperately to get a coat of mud up in the entire room, so I went into crazy mode. As the night wore on, I found my body feeling fatigued, my shoulders ached, my neck was on fire, and my hands prickled from a hundred fiberglass slivers I received from a new kind of drywall tape I was using.
About halfway through the process, it dawned on me that Jesus was doing a similar thing the night of his death. No he wasn’t drywalling, but he was taking the fragmented world full of broken people, and applying his blood to all the damage that had been done by sin. Through his death, Jesus created something beautiful out of this world, out of us.
My kitchen will never reflect the kind of restoration Jesus achieved on that first Easter weekend, but is reminded me of the kind of work he is doing in my life, and the lives of all the people we work with at New City Neighbors.
On Sunday I read a tweet by this campus minister I follow. He quoted Chesterton, who said, “In a semblance of the gardener, God walked again in the garden, in the cool, not of the evening, but the dawn.” It struck me that sin was first confronted in a garden by God walking with his people, and sin was conquered by God, in Jesus, as he rose from the grave in a garden.
God is constantly working to bring about new life in his people, and his creation. As we wind down another school year, and creep ever so close to another summer, I’m excited to see what kind of new life, what kind of resurrection, God will bring about in children and families.