For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer. -- Isaiah 54:7-8
Thursday, February 18, 2016
The Plot Thickens
I have been struggling to get back in a groove and mostly losing. I had to travel last week for work which is always disruptive to me. I like my routine. It bugs me that my old habits have been broken up and that I have to settle into some new ones.
When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out asking why He had been forsaken. In this He quotes Psalm 22:1 – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” The words from our verse in Isaiah might be thought of as the Father’s response to the Son’s cry. It does almost seem like a play at times, a great and grand, truly epic presentation across time and space.
I do not always know my lines or hit my mark. Interestingly, as an aside, the New Testament Greek work translated as “sin” is transliterated as hamartia. From Wikipedia: In tragedy, hamartia is commonly understood to refer to the protagonist’s error or flaw that leads to a chain of plot actions culminating in a reversal from their good fortune to bad. What qualifies as the error or flaw can include an error resulting from ignorance, an error of judgment, a flaw in character, or sin.
As with all good stories, the failures and falls of the protagonist are not final. There may be that moment when it seems as though God must turn away from us. We may find ourselves, for a brief space of time, in darkness, confused and bereft of hope, but this is the pivotal scene, the point at which we make the decision to give up and let the antagonist win or call out to God, give up only hope in ourselves and rise above the temporal tragedies in which our sins have trapped us.
Christ offers us a path we may follow through the darkness. By going the way of selflessness, He will lead us out into the light of a new day. The tragedies will be turned to triumphs. All our losses will be gains. The storybook ending will be that we really will live happily ever after.