Up against the fence, I couldn't help but notice the natural cross the petals of the African Iris formed as they reached out in response to the light. So I tried it myself, reaching my arms up, and outward, inviting meaning into the coming hours.
There is an openness of spirit that comes when I stretch my arms out like that. I'm not a big arm-raiser in church - for me it always feels contrived whenever I try, and I'm thankful that playing the guitar keeps my hands busy - but sometimes, during private devotional moments, I will raise my hands and simply reach out to heaven.
I know that heaven is not necessarily "up", and I understand that God is not removed from me in terms of measurable physical space. But I'm also learning to understand that there is a relationship between spirit, mind and body that does not neatly compartmentalize. In fact, the word "neatness" is one of the last I'd ever employ, anymore, to describe the way that the Spirit is interacting with nowadays.
And so, on this good Good Friday morning, I just want to reach out to God. Especially when I consider the way that Jesus reached out, on my behalf.
Jesus stretched out his arms and allowed himself to be brutally killed. Jesus did this because the penetrating love God holds for me inhabited him in such a way that I meant everything to him. I believe that my life means that much to God today.
- Jesus could have walked away. He didn't.
- Jesus could have said, "You're on your own." He didn't.
- Jesus could have left his work incomplete. He didn't.
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John)
Today is a good day: Good Friday. Jesus could have completed his work to the extent that I am now free to live in the sure knowledge that God loves me, and wants me to live in the light of that truth. That's exactly what he did.
Because of Good Friday, I am completely free to engage all the possibilities that come bundled with the life of a follower of the Jesus Way.