Rev. Ken Bushey
On this day fifteen years ago, I dressed in a rented tuxedo and my bride stood before me in a gorgeous white dress that had been purchased to be worn for one day only. Family, friends and flowers graced every corner of the sanctuary. Months of planning paid off in a ceremony and reception that was highly successful in honoring and celebrating the love that my bride and I shared for one another.
But the wedding didn’t last. Don’t misunderstand. The marriage is strong, but the flowers have long since decomposed in a landfill with the freezer burned anniversary cake, gifts have become yard sale bargains, and the dress remains zipped in a bag under the bed.
You and I have embarked on a journey together trusting that we would have a common destination. We’ve called it our Lenten Journey. Lent naturally anticipates Easter. We have made it to our destination and with exuberance we proclaim, “He is risen!” “He is risen, indeed!”
But this week the lilies will begin losing their blooms, the colored eggs will be processed into egg salad and Peeps will go on sale. The celebration of Easter has come and gone. We won’t return to Lent for another 301 days. So what do we do now?
Jesus pleads with us, “Remain in my love.”
Little remains from my wedding. But we have remained in our love.
I think Jesus knows we are prone to wander, to be distracted, to let the brilliance of his amazing love fade. Perhaps he anticipates that we, like his other disciples, will return to the nets and life as usual. Perhaps he knows we are people with a propensity to fall into ruts instead of remaining in a God directed groove. So Jesus uses the word eleven times. “Remain.” What do we do now that Easter is behind us? “Remain.”
Remain in his love. Continue to be captured by the reality that he is crazy about you. Dwell in the intensity of his grace that was offered when his wrath was deserved and see if doesn’t help you love one another more. Continue to camp out in the marvelous story of redemption and I think you’ll discover you can obey his commands. Remain in his love and you will bear much fruit.
The big day is past. This particular journey together is ending, but may our lives never be the same.
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place