The Center

by Rhonda, April 18, 2022

The alarm clock went off on Easter Sunday and I groaned.  Sunrise services (not truly sunrise service) started at 7:30 a.m. I pushed the snooze button.  It was an indecent time for a weekend.  

Fifteen minutes later, the alarm went off again.  I heard the water running in the basement, a sure sign my daughter was taking a shower.  If the kids were up, Mom needed to get up and get ready for church.  I drug myself out of bed and began to get ready.

I thought about how we could go out to breakfast after church.  I wondered if they would have fresh cookies or maybe even donuts to reward those of us showing up at the 7:30 service. I got into the car, and looked at my tired kids.  "Mom, not to complain, but I'm glad church isn't at 7:30 every weekend."  I nodded.

It began to rain.  It was chilly, I pulled my sweater over my shoulders.  The image of Christ hanging on the cross immediately flashed into my mind.  I wondered if it was this cold on the actual day of the crucifixion.  I wondered if He was cold.  I shuttered.  Horrible.  

I thought about my grandmother, when I was at her bedside as she died.  I remembered laying my hands on her feet, and they were cold.  If her feet were cold while she died in bed, then He must have been freezing.  He must have been so miserable.  

Yes.  He was cold.

Yes.  He suffered.

In that moment, my focus changed.  My morning wasn't supposed to be centered on my story.  My morning was supposed to be centered on His story.  Isn't that what His death and resurrection is supposed to do?  To change our focus?

We were never meant to be the focus of our own lives.  His story is always supposed to be the focus.  It was always meant to be this way.   When our lives are viewed in the light of His story as the center, we see the bigger picture.  We see the whole story.

Have you ever seen the movie the Sixth Sense?  Once you know the ending, you can never watch the movie again in the same way.  Everything in the movie makes sense because you understand the bigger picture.  Our lives are the same.  Jesus is the bigger picture and once we center our lives around His story, all of a sudden everything makes sense.

Take the disciples for example.  After Jesus was crucified, they went back to their old jobs.  Peter was fishing again.  They were defeated, not understanding the bigger picture.  But once they were first-hand witnesses to the resurrection, their focus changed.  After Christ revealed himself (to hundreds of people, by the way), the disciples saw the bigger picture.  

Now, they worshipped.  Now, they began to live their lives with one purpose and one purpose only.  To spread the gospel to the ends of the Earth.  If it meant their lives, so be it.  They were no longer the center of their own story.  They understood they were part of a much larger picture - an important part - but not the center.

How radically different our lives would be if Christ was truly the center.  How radically different the world would be.  

We sat through a riveting Easter service at church.  Afterwards, both of my kids said they were so glad we got up early and went to the sunrise (not really) service.  I explained to the kids when I grew up, the sunrise service used to be at 5:30 a.m. and it was outside.  

"That would be so early," my daughter said.  "And cold."

I looked up at the sky and nodded.  "Yes," I said.  "It was."

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