Friday. We Remember.

I read Matthew 27.

Two years ago. Early April.

We are eagerly awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. Sorrow has rocked our small family recently. The promise of this springtime baby has been a balm to our sore hearts.  Early on Good Friday morning, labor begins in earnest.  Our families wait in the living room of the Birthing Center.

As the morning progresses so do the sounds of travail.  I am standing by the microwave making my husband a cup of coffee when Dana’s voice sounds high and piercing.  It is the sound of being lifted and driven by a hard wave and she rides it with a long, undulating cry.

Time is now marked for us by her pain.

Love.

My mind shifts suddenly to that first Good Friday when the “pangs of death”, as the Psalmist calls them, wrack the Man on the Cross.

That, too, was a birthing.

It was a birthing of man’s redemption through extreme and unrelieved suffering.  In an unfathomable mystery, eternal life is inextricably linked with monstrous death. Life, physical and spiritual, emerges bathed in blood.

And those cries from the cross pound down through the millennia and echo in the pangs of every birthing mother.

Thus the love of God is remembered even in the most elemental places.

Our awe at first sight of our baby girl, so chubby and perfect, is the awe of the ages. In that mystical moment of every birth we wonder, how can this be?  It is a shadow of the instant when a soul, newborn and washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, ponders that same question.

This evening our church fellowship will gather around the bread and the cup and remember. We will remember that our sin beat Him almost to death, and then killed Him. Horrifically. Together we will ponder the unimaginable depths of Christ’s love for us. And we will give thanks (with tears, likely) that Love found us and washed us clean.

With blood.

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