easter 2016

The Mirror in the Wilderness (Part 7)

This is the final entry in a series of readings that were shared during our Sunday morning gatherings through Lent.  You can find the other installments here: (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6)


During Lent, we have been looking at Jesus as a Mirror that perfectly reveals to us who we have been and who we are, in all of our brokenness. 

In the Mirror, we are known. 

That image came from a Barbara Brown Taylor reading I shared on Ash Wednesday, and again on Friday.  She says that the reaction of the Romans, the Jews, and all of us, upon seeing ourselves for who we really are in this Mirror, is to smash it every way we can.  And so, on Friday, we remembered the shattering of Jesus.  But today we are reminded that the shattering didn’t take.  The Mirror was made whole again.

Only now, this Mirror carries a network of cracks—scars of the shattering.  The cracks don’t obscure the reflection, but they do transform it in a way.  We see a different kind of self looking back at us—the kind only a broken mirror can reveal. Held in tension with the truth about who we have been, and who we are, we find reflected back at us the truth about who we can be, and about what we can do; the truth that we can be changed.

Yes, now the Mirror tells us a story about who we’ve been, who we are, and who we can be.  In the Mirror, we are known.  In the Mirror, we are loved.

And in the cracks, we see another story.  A story that makes the cracks in our own hearts ache.  A story that makes our own broken pieces cry out.  It’s a story where we see what God makes of broken pieces, and where we start to see what God might make of us. We see the cycle of birth, living, and death--the song that has been sung for ages, both through the various seasons that make up a single life, and in life itself—now crowned with Resurrection; an emphatic yes to lifeAnd this changes everything.  And in the midst of everything, we find it changes us.

In the Mirror, we are known. In the Mirror, we are loved. In the Mirror, we are transformed.

No longer people of the shattering, we are resurrection people. Those who mourn deeply the loss or violation of life, because we know that life is most definitely a gift.  And those who hope fiercely because we have seen just how far God is willing to go to put broken pieces back together. Freed from the finality of death that haunts us, threatens to paralyze us, we are able to embrace the fullness of the beauty that God has woven into life.

Yes, we are resurrection people.  Those who in the once-shattered Mirror of Christ are known, loved, transformed, and free.



Setlist 3-27-2016

This week was Easter, and our songs were gathered around that theme. Below, you’ll find the list of the songs and artists. Clicking the song titles will take you to the lyrics. Below the songs, there is an example of one way you might think of these songs in light of this week's theme. If you want to talk about any of these, feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or email me at jamie@ubcwaco.org.


In the Night by Andrew Peterson

Death In His Grave by John Mark McMillan

How Great Thou Art

Hope by Jameson McGregor

Because He Lives


How They Fit In:

There are many ways to think about the significance of songs and the way they fit together–-this is simply one way you can look at these songs in light of this week’s theme. 

In the Night: This song is a journey through the biblical narrative, cataloguing the process of struggle and victory, woundedness and healing, etc., strung together by the refrain "In the night, my hope lives on."  We've added a verse to the song each week of Lent as we made our way to this week.  This song as a whole is an exercise in looking back to look forward--looking at what God has done in dark places as a reassurance that God will not abandon us to our own darkness.  

Death In His Grave: We sang this song to proclaim the death of Death in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and also to think about the changes this brings about for our own lives.

How Great Thou Art: We sang this song to praise God on perhaps three different levels.  First, we have images of God forming worlds on the cosmic scene.  Second, we have the Easter story.  And third, we have the future hope of reconciliation between God and creation on a large scale.  God's "greatness" in this song might be attributed to the fact that God not only made the cosmos, but takes notice of humanity within that sprawl--and not just "notice," God emptied Godself out for the good of the divine-human relationship--and so, we can expect that God will continue to be this overwhelmingly loving creator for us.

Hope:  On Easter, we get the resolution to a plot we have been following since Advent.  In the midst of the darkness of Advent, we held out hope that a light would come.  And we found on Christmas that God lit a fire in our darkness.  In the weeks since, we have watched with bated breath to see how the Light fared in the darkness.  On Easter, we see conclusively that the darkness did not overcome it.  This song is about that story, and it's about the analogues of that story that we experience throughout our own lives.  God is still lighting fires in our darkness, and the darkness is still not overcoming them.  And now, on Easter, we have reason to believe that this isn't a story, but the story.  

Because He Lives:  We sang this song to remind ourselves that the Resurrection has an effect on our daily lives--that it is relevant for our own outlook on life.  Everything is different because of this moment.  Everything has changed.  Every story now gets woven into a greater story, and tragedies don't triumph in the end.

Doxology: During Lent, we put the Doxology to bed, and replaced it with Be Thou My Vision.  Now is the time to bring it back.  We will once again close our time together each week with this proclamation that God is worthy of praise from every inch of the cosmos.