April 6, 2019

by Brad Scott

Psalm 126; Exodus 12: 21-27 

John 11:45-57


“Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.” (John 11: 57) 
I went to bed that evening after I looked out over the front yard.  Snow was still falling.  Big, heavy, wet flakes.  Snow that clings to everything, snow that mounts up high.  It was April of 1997.  We were told this storm was coming, and that it might cause power outages.  It was here.  So far, we still had power, but I was expecting a possible disruption.  I was awakened the next morning to the sound of a large “pop!”  This was followed by a few “sizzles” and some “crackles.”  Something was happening to the power.  I quickly reached over to the TV we had in our bedroom and unplugged it, then went downstairs to unplug appliances in the kitchen.  
It was too late.  We lost the motor in the refrigerator, the microwave, and the TV we had in the den.  I turned on the light only to see the faintest dim glow coming from the bulb.  The power line outside the house had snapped, but not broken.  All our 220 power (which powered our electric baseboard heat and water heater) was fine.  But nothing was right on the 110 circuits.  It would take a total of nine days to get back on the grid.  This time of waiting almost drove me crazy as I called each day to report the outage.  Ours was the only house in town without power and many more were without in neighborhoods out in the countryside through a wide swath of counties in Virginia, West Virginia and other places.   
Moses prepared the people for the coming of the “angel of the Lord.”  He was going to wreak havoc throughout the nation of Egypt.  But those who were prepared could be “passed over” if they did the right things.  Marking the doorposts and lintels with the blood of a lamb would enable them to survive this horrid vengeance that was going to be meted out upon the people of Pharoah’s nation.  In later times, Jesus was on his way to the cross, but had not yet come under the control of the authorities in Jerusalem.  He was prepared for disaster, waiting for it to come, trying to prepare his disciples for the event.   
Lent is a journey we take toward a time of disaster called “Good Friday.”  We know from the start it’s going to take us through a valley we would rather not deal with, but the church has recognized the power of walking through it together, knowing that the end will be better than the beginning.  As you anticipate the events of Holy Week, and the glories of the days beyond that, know that God is with you in the anticipation.  Allow yourself to feel the dread, to experience the apprehension.  Then keep walking, and trust God to accompany you through it.     
Prayer:  O God who is always with us, as we prepare for the climax of this Lenten journey, mark the doorposts of our hearts so that we will be able to withstand the dark remembrance of Good Friday.  Be with all those who are experiencing disasters throughout the world.  Embrace them with your love as they await restoration and wholeness.  Teach us the disastrous effects of our words and inactions.  This we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen. 


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