Dancer poked me insistently during the Lord's Supper. Eventually realizing that she was just not going to give up, I turned my head and quietly hissed, "What?!"
She pointed to the front of the church, where an artist's charcoal of Jesus on the cross was projected, and asked...
"Why are his eyes open?"
I glanced up and sure enough...Jesus' eyes were open, lifted heavenward.
"Didn't Jesus die on the cross?" she asked in a puzzled voice.
"Yes, baby," I said. "But he was alive when they nailed him up there.
She looked at the picture for a minute and then turned to me. Her eyes had rounded and were full of tears.
And then she whispered, "But, Mommy....why?"
Diva chimed in with, "It was for us, right Mommy? He died for us."
I nodded slowly, and Dancer leaned over to rest her head on my shoulder, still upset.
The whole conversation took only moments, but for the rest of the service my mind was occupied - not with the lesson on Abraham - but with the knowledge that somewhere along the way I became inured to the absolute barbarity of what our Savior endured to offer us the gift of grace.
Somehow, in my readings on the crucifixion.....in the many sermons and cinematic portrayals....in a lifetime of knowing what has been given to me - I lost track of the sacrifice and the pain and the loss in the cross.
I became so conditioned to focus on the resurrection and the joy that brings - that I forgot to let my heart be pierced by what my sin did to my savior.
Acts 2: 36, 37
"God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah."
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Many of you have already responded to Peter's and the apostles' instructions of "repent and be baptized." You have already acknowledged what God has given you. But it cannot hurt even you to be reminded - sometimes unexpectedly - not to lose the heart of the matter.
I did that. I put Him there. My sin, my failings. And He did it anyway...for me. Because He loves me.