Into a historic time of violent surprises, Jesus arrived. During that era when terrorists and tyrants were essentially indistinguishable, Jesus went about his work. For impending times of uncertainty, Jesus imbued us with a promise.
Our current outlook is kindled by commemorating his story during Holy Week, and this year seems particularly extraordinary. Tonight is a full moon. It will last 3 days, and the most recent Sunday was the Vernal Equinox. After we celebrate the Last Supper on Thursday, the light of the moon wanes gibbous, or fades, as the love of Jesus waxes eternal. In the background of the Easter bunny, may pole dancers, and sack races, it happens like this every year. The surety of these celestial events goes virtually unnoticed, like the watermark of baptism or a whispered promise.
In 325 AD, early church bishops gathered on the eastern shore of Lake Askania in northeast Turkey. Saint Nicholas was there representing the coastal town of Myra. During their month-long meeting, important dates were discussed, and Easter was forever linked to Sunday morning following the 1st full moon of Spring – matching the week of the Jewish Passover. Their congress also ratified the original wording of the Nicene Creed, a confession of faith in the gift of the promise.
Lord, this too is a time of violent surprises, when terrorists are virtually indistinguishable from tyrants, and the future often seems uncertain. Remind us of your gifts, Lord, that our hope might best facilitate your continued work of comfort, justice, and mercy. As difficult as it can sometimes be to fathom, we’re eternally grateful for the peace you promise. With tears we count it great joy. Amen.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we confess,
for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” – Hebrews 10:23
Acoustic: The Promise
Artist: When in Rome (1987)