when the lights go off

sunday morning our church community had our monthly meeting. the small room we meet in is filled with people who share the same passionate desire to know God and make him known. so every meeting, we pray, sing, and discuss stuff. i don’t think i ever finish singing in that space without having mascara running down my cheeks. the reality of God pounds in that room.

this morning we were discussing mark 15. the content resonated so deeply in my heart that i have to write it down. the sheer purpose of this blog….so i don’t forget. i used to write all that i was learning in my journals with pen and paper. now i’m spilling out my life lessons on the internet. hmmm. the whole reason in documenting is so later i can look back and piece things together. its when i take several steps back that i see grand themes taking place in my life. i wish i had the capacity to remember every thing God ever taught me. but the reality is that i can’t. but God did give me the tool of writing. and so i use it. i must remember.

back to mark 15

this part in the bible talks about a man named joseph, who i guess is some “secret disciple” of jesus. he asks for the body of Jesus after Jesus was crucified.  which is pretty brave because Jesus wasn’t exactly the popular man of the hour. they just killed him. most of jesus’ disciples seem to have fled fearing that maybe their lives were at stake too. so joseph had some sort of position in the city because he actually had the platform in which to ask for Jesus’ body. i think its strange that this is the only time this “secret disciple” is mentioned. i love that it describes him as one who is, “waiting for the Kingdom of God.”

i feel like that’s us.

waiting for the kingdom of God.

he must have really loved Jesus to risk his life at this moment.

we were discussing how this must have been a really dark moment for all those who believed Jesus was God. he was just crucified. dead. the powerful man that had the power to heal all those who followed him was dead. just a corpse. everyone who had left everything to follow him now mourned. the “savior of the world” …was dead.

and so they waited.

in must have seemed like complete darkness for days. i can’t imagine. it must have seemed like all hope was lost. maybe it seemed like everything they had believed in was a lie.

at our meeting we shared personal stories. times in our lives when the “lights turned off” for us and it seemed like all hope was lost. i think we can all identify with those times. when you have to wait with no evidence of hope. just wait in what seems like the dark.

waiting for the Kingdom of God.

when you can’t see anything.

things get hard and the “lights go off”. they seem to go off in a rhythmic sort of way, don’t they? its not a matter of if. they just do. things get hard and the lights go of. what do we do when things get hard? when all hope seems lost….

mark 15:43

Joseph was waiting for the kingdom of God; he gathered up courage and went in before pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.

its also interesting to note that this was the day they were preparing for sabbath. sabbath was the next day.

so we talked about sabbath. we talked about rest. we talked about listening to God and being in the word as those things seem to renew our sense of hope. and how sabbath is such a necessary part of our rhythm of life.  its the hope of remembering.

if we don’t have a rhythm of rest and a way we allow our hearts to be stirred to remember, i suppose our hope won’t last when the lights go off. i suppose if we never learn how to wait in darkness, we will never know Jesus intimately.

there is something redemptive and restorative about waiting. there is some kind of healing that takes place in us when we wait when the lights go off.

its part of the redemptive story. it certainly was for joseph and everyone else who was waiting for the Kingdom of God when all hope seemed lost. if waiting isn’t important, why would God wait 3 days before he raised from the dead? why not right after?

because there is a redemptive story he is writing in our lives. something significant is happening to us as we wait. so how do we wait? how do we rest? how do we remember?

isaiah 30:18

therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,

and therefore he waits on high to have compassion on you.

for the LORD is a GOD of justice;

how blessed are those who wait for him.

o people in zion, inhabitants of jerusalem, you will weep no longer,

he will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.

although the Lord has allowed the bread of privation and water of oppression,

he, your teacher, will no longer hide himself,

but your eyes will behold your teacher.

your ears will hear a word behind you,

(i just have to say that hearing a word behind you is just really intimate. it means he has to be incredibly close for you to hear him. as if he’s whispering in your ear. i just love this part and have really and truly experienced it. that’s why i’m babbling on here. i can’t get over this voice i hear behind me. its changing my life and moving me forward and worth everything that it takes to hear it.)

he will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plenteous

my hope is that as we learn how to wait, our hope would be stirred. and that it would lead us to a place where we can hear, even more intimately, the voice of God. and that our lives would be rich and plenteous because of it.

he hasn’t forgotten us. let us wait for the Kingdom of God together.

its coming.


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