Soaking Up the Son

Today I gave gratitude for the first full day of sunshine in a week. It was glorious waking up this morning and seeing those golden rays!

Although I had a full day of indoor activities planned and didn’t have much time to sit in the sun, I was grateful nonetheless. After a solid week of soaking rain, the sun’s warmth brightened every room and lifted the gloominess I had been feeling. I heard so many birds singing and I watched from our kitchen window as the spring’s first fledgling sparrows tested out their wings and visited our feeders. They are so much fun to watch! Our peonies are responding as well, no longer drenched and drooping over onto our patio. They are going to burst into full bloom this week. I will be sure to take some photos to share.

Also on this day, the Day of Pentecost, I gave gratitude for the Son of God — for Jesus Christ who promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who follow him. No amount of rain can diminish its divine light or keep it from filling our hearts. It is a gift of freedom, redemption and salvation, and it can never be taken away.

I am so grateful today for the sun — and the Son — which lift away the fog and clouds in life, bathing us in warmth and light, and filling us with fresh hope for each new day. What a blessing!

 

Breaking Chains

Today we observed Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday) in our church, as did many worshipers in churches and gathering places around the globe. It is the start of Holy Week.

It’s a chilly day here in northern Virginia, and after church I spent most of my afternoon balancing my checkbook, of all things. (Am I the only one who still does this?) I do this task “old school”, meaning that I typically reconcile my transactions individually using Quicken, rather than allowing the computer to do it electronically. I want to look carefully at our spending, and also check for any irregularities. This can be a painstaking process . . . especially if you are 6 months behind! To make the chore less tiresome, I decided to turn on our local Christian radio station. As I worked, one song in particular made me stop what I was doing, push back from my keyboard, close my eyes and listen. The song was Chain Breaker by Zach Williams.

Every now and then, a hymn in church or a song on the radio reaches so deep inside me that I am moved to tears. This was one of those instances. I finished my work and looked up the official lyric video and also the  official music video. I played both videos multiple times, and thought of people I know who are nearing a breaking point and need to hear this message. (I encourage you to listen and share if you feel led to do so.)

For me, this single song captures the significance of this Holy Week . . . all of Jesus’ life on earth, and all that He continues to do in so many broken lives today. Every one of us knows someone who is struggling with addiction in one form or another. Maybe this topic hits us a little too close to home.

Listening to Chain Breaker felt a bit like an altar call to me — a call to kneel at the foot of the cross and drop all the baggage that is holding us back. A call to stop walking on the same road, listening to the same lies. The music video clearly shows the lives ravaged by addiction and how it affects those we love. It shows the pain, the loss, the heartache, but also gives us hope for a way out. It points to a better life, through Jesus, the prison-shaking Savior, Jesus the Chain-Breaker.

May your Holy Week be filled with quiet contemplation, prayerful reflection, and a longing for the hope for our risen Savior.

 

“Chain Breaker” by Zach Willams, written by Zach Williams, Jonathan Smith, Mia Fieldes
From the album Chain Breaker, released May 24, 2016
Essential Music Publishing