Part 2 of Thoughts on Lent
Yes, I’ve been contemplating these 40 days of Lent. I’ve been listening to and observing others. Some people share what they are “giving up” for Lent: chocolate; complaining; social media, etc. Some people don’t share – it’s personal – or perhaps it’s sacred. Some people, on the other hand, are not observing Lent, for whatever reason.
And yes, as I ponder, I’m still looking toward Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
But today, I’m “mulling over” my response to a different Resurrection – the television drama recently aired by ABC.
My friend asked, “Did anyone watch that new show, Resurrection last night? I don’t think I’ll watch it again. The thought of opening my front door and seeing my son standing there is almost more than my heart can take . . . it was difficult to watch but I couldn’t seem to turn it off.”
“I didn’t watch it. The premise seemed a bit creepy. And having lost a son who is buried in a rural Missouri cemetery, I don’t think I could handle it.”
“I didn’t watch it . . . I just thought that it would be too hard!”
She replied, “You were wiser than I was . . . I went to bed with an aching heart.”
An aching heart. Aching over the loss of her son, and, similar to the drama, about 30 years ago.
In the first episode of Resurrection, the little guy, Jacob, “comes to” in the middle of a beautiful green rice paddy in China. We know he’s been dead because we’ve seen the previews and we’ve read just enough about the plot to know what’s going on. When we see him reunited with his parents, we are touched in various ways. We are perplexed We are elated. We believe. We do not believe.
And so the drama continues and closes with yet another “resurrection,” leading the viewer to the next episode.
But the most surprising thing about this drama, which, I suppose, separates it from others, such as The Returned or Believe, is the pastor, asking a question of his congregation, and of himself about faith. The scene is set in the snow-white church, outside and in. The choir wears white robes. The pastor and parishioners are all dressed in dull greys or black, but Jacob and his mother, Lucille, in stark contrast, wear orange and red, separating them from the others, evidently revealing their faith, thus setting the tone for the pastor’s question: “Isn’t that what it means to have faith?”
I place no faith in the script of a television drama.
But the whole scenario, the entire premise, causes me to think about people, reaching and yearning for the resurrection of the body and for eternity. It makes me thankful for the faith I have found in Jesus Christ – his death, burial, and his resurrection. And thankful for the Word of God that gives me the expectation kind of hope I have as His child. That faith brings the grace that heals my friend’s aching heart and my own aching heart – aching for my loved ones who have passed – and aching for eternity.
My parents both died at the age of 87 – just one month apart. My heart was aching. People tried to console me: He had a good life. She lived a long life. It was true. Each did have a good and long life. Typical comments, meant to console. But they didn’t. 87 years isn’t enough. Life is too short.
My heart yearns for eternity. That’s my consolation. Eternity. The resurrection – not the television drama but the resurrection of Mama and Daddy and my friend’s little boy, and all those we have loved who put their faith in the resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
God put it there. The longing for eternity. He put it in my heart, and He put it in all hearts. That’s why we can’t seem to turn it off. It’s no wonder we’re writing and watching and reading about returning and resurrecting! We look forward to that day – seeing our loved ones again – the resurrection of the old bodies and the receiving of the new. And it’s all because of Christ’s resurrection! Looking toward Easter Sunday with great joy! The 40 days continue!
. . . the few days of their lives . . . He has also set eternity in the hearts of men . . . (Ecclesiastes 2: 3; 3:11)