“Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39
What’s the physical distance between you and your dearest friends? In the neighborhood? Across town, across the world? What about the distance from your aging parents or your young adult children?
Our home is in Hawaii. Our adult children are in the Northwest. Our aging parents are in the South. And lifelong friends are scattered around the world. For all but three years of my adult life, I have lived far from my parents. That means vacations are still often to go be with family. The miles have not allowed events, ordinary, unexpected, joyful and painful to be shared in person. Separation.
Who doesn’t know about life events, ordinary, unexpected, joyful and painful in which we absolutely could not be present? For sure 2020 and counting. The ache, sadness, sometimes anger was present when we could not be present. Separation.
This Lent season has brought a new dimension to what separation means. Willingly in love and obedience, Jesus left the wonder of heaven to become one of us. Jesus’ connection to his Father was still in place. But when he took on our sin at the cross, the utter severing of God the Father from his Son was a first. It wasn’t just miles. All Jesus had known with his Father was gone. Silence in every direction. At his most painful, vulnerable, horrific time. Separation.
But Sunday was coming.
Separation because of sin and death could not hold Jesus down.
Easter reminds us that we have a Savior, Emmanuel, who knows both separation and unbelievable reunion. Thanks be to our God!
Reflect for a minute.
What has physical distance from loved ones created in and for you?
What does emotional distance from loved ones feel like?
Is there anyone you sense needs your nearness?
Does Jesus seem close right now?
Lean in in these last days of Lent. Consider Jesus’ sacrifice through separation. Come near. He will come near to you.