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"Morning Musings" by Phyllis Jackson

The Passion of the Christ. I have been meditating on that biblical narrative during this Holy Week and through out the Lenten season. Pondering the betrayal, the pain and suffering, the loss and grief, the fear and uncertainty and, ultimately, the death. Though this occurred over 2,000 years ago, it seems eerily comparable to what is occurring now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, King Solomon, in waxing poetic in Ecclesiastes 1, conveyed this same idea when He said “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”


It feels like, with COVID -19, that we are in the extremity of our own “passion week.” Enormous numbers of people are being affected and there are often conflicting messages from those at various levels of authority. When given the option to make choices for the good of all, many are opting to make choices only for the good of self. Conspiracy theories abound daily.


Thousands will eat their Passover dinners in their homes, all alone. The ill die separated from loved ones who are mandated to stand and watch from afar off; their bodies are quickly taken and hidden away, with no opportunity for families and friends to gather and share their communal grief.

While experiencing our own “passion week” (the COVID-19pandemic,) I admit that there are moments when anxiety assailsmy mind and weariness overtakes my body, discouragement grips my heart, sadness clouds my vison, tears fall from my eyes, and I am totally overwhelmed. And yet, I never feel utterly hopeless and despondent concerning the future.


In the face of all that is happening, that seems odd, doesn’t it?Perhaps it is because I have lived long enough to know that afterevery night there will be a morning. That sooner or later, sunshine comes after, and sometimes during, the rain. I have seen that the bleakness and cold of winter doesn’t last always.The hardened grave of the earth will slowly soften to the warm rains from heaven, and in due time the harvests will come. The earth will be renewed, and flora, fauna, birds, bees, and babies,will abound again.


While I believe that the experiences of life can give one a unique ability to hold onto hope, I submit that what really defies the attempts of hopelessness and despair to gain a lasting foothold in the lives of saints, is that after the events of Passion Week came Victory Sunday. The day when Jesus ROSE. The chains of death, which had bound Him, and us, to a hopeless future, were forever broken. The veil of the temple was torn apart. We who were once far off, and forbidden to enter, now had full access to the Holy of Holies. And here is the kicker, not only do we have access, we have a personal invitation to the very throne of God!Hebrews 14:16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Can this really be so? Can we, who often cower in terror of what each tomorrow might bring during this pandemic, get help in our time of need? But, we are laid off, isolated, without money and the cost of help is high, how will we pay for such help? Ah! My sisters and brothers, have you forgotten the story? Passion Week entailed the shedding of blood, the Savior’s blood. His blood was the payment to Grace and Mercy for their help in our time of need. Do you not recall Victory Sunday? Jesus rose from the dead and He lives forever more. He who paid the blood price, has become our great high priest and is seated at the right hand of the Father always interceding for us. Jesus, our slain Lamb and living Lord, the Bishop of our souls, holds each tomorrow in His hand and with each tomorrow comes new mercies, becausegreat is His faithfulness.

During this season, and every season of passion/challenges, let us join with the prophet Habakkuk and declare with voices of triumph:


“Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail          And the fields produce no food,          Though the flock should be cut off from the fold          And there be no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,          I will rejoice in the God of my salvation…” Habakkuk 3:17


And Saints, let’s remember that Hopelessness can have no lasting place; Despair will have to depart, and Fear will fall back, when we keep our hearts filled with a hymn of total praise...


Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills Knowing my help is coming from You Your peace You give me in time of the storm

You are the source of my strength You are the strength of my life I lift my hands in total praise to You

You are the source of my strength You are the strength of my life I lift my hands in total praise to You

Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen*


Because He Lives!

Pastor “P”


*”Total Praise” by Richard Smallwood

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