Yesterday was the first day of spring!
And the sun rose with the promise of new life all around. Thanks, Lord. We needed that.
Today is Good Friday
... when the Son was lifted up with the promise of new life all around. Thanks, Lord, we needed that even more.
I began these thoughts a week ago Monday, March 10th, the night after “Spring Ahead Sunday.” A few hours earlier, I was a few minutes late to my Monday School Board meeting, because--according to my watch--I still had an hour to get back to the school. Two nights before, when Julie and I changed all the clocks, I forgot to change my watch.“Spring ahead; fall back!”
Isn’t it funny how we rely on those four words to make sure we get it right twice a year? Here are some other
examples of 4-word reminders.
I know some people who say “never eat soggy waffles
” to remember the clockwise order of N,S,E,W on a map. And I’ve caught myself mumbling,
“lefty loosy; righty tighty
” while unscrewing things. Here’s another one I use that you’ve probably never heard:
“Black gold, Texas tea
Whenever I’m doing electrical wiring at home, I begin singing the “Beverly Hillbillies Theme
.” You may know it from re-runs. Jed Clampett was “shooting at some food and up from the ground came a bubblin’ crude—oil that is, black gold, Texas tea..” That little song helps me remember that the black wire goes to the gold contact on the fixture, which leaves the white wire for the silver contact. (The green wire goes to “ground” because both words start with g-r.)
There you have it: My Guide to Basic Home Wiring.
I guess we could say God wired our minds for re-MIND-ers.
He understood the power of verbal symbols (words) and visual symbols (signs, logos, etc.) and that without them, we are prone to forget the most basic instructions of life. He plugged in symbolic reminders as the story of man’s fall and redemption unfolded. Some huge, like the rainbow
, some hard as rocks
beside a river, and some as small as a mustard seed
, but –BAM!—the image flashes across our mind and we remember something God told us not to forget.
Some symbols are so important that our Lord himself did not share them until His last moments on Earth.
On the night he was betrayed, He sat with his disciples and imposed extraordinary meaning upon two ordinary objects: He reminded his followers that he was the “bread of life” and then he broke that bread.
Then the Vine
reminded the branches
that grapes must be crushed to fill the cup, and so too his life must be spilled out for the forgiveness of sins. (This symbol of the cup was still fresh on his mind a few hours later as He pleaded
with His father in the garden, “O My Father, if this cup
cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”)
Jesus remembered that we would forget. He knew we were creatures in need of rainbows
and sticky notes
, so He left us with three symbols in his last hours on Earth. The last symbol, like the first two, was a common physical object—not the bread or cup upon the table but something made from wood like the table itself.
This Son of God whose earthly father was a carpenter knew all about wood
. He taught of a Kingdom of roots and branches
. He admonished
us to be mindful of the sawdust
and beams in our eyes. This God-man knew the touch of wood from his first to his last breath. He was the lamb whom those drawn to Him saw first in a wooden manger
and last upon rugged cross. And so it was that this most common of materials was hewn into the most enduring symbol of Christendom. The Saviour knew that our minds would need re-MIND-ers, that our eyes would sometimes need a SIGN to recall His SIGNificance, and He instructed us to observe these symbols "in remembrance of me." The old hymn
put it this way,
“Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.”
May we fall back
on these words as we look to the spring ahead.
Update: Friday PM.
re-MIND-ers, I sometimes forget that SNOW knows no calendar in Michigan's and often wears out its welcome in early spring. (It snowed last Easter, too, and that was two weeks later.)
The opening sentence of this post was true. Yesterday was a sunny day with only remnants of snow where the piles had been all winter, but today a heavy snow fell steadily from noon to night. It was still coming down as I shoveled the driveway after dinner. Six inches and counting. (Last Saturday, I put the snow blower away for the year.)
Labels: bread, cross, cup, Easter, reminders, spring