Putting The Lego Blocks Away
When my children were little, there was a special moment that I celebrated every night in my house. All of the fathers and grandfathers will relate. Each night, my wife and I would tuck our kids into bed and then come downstairs, and the clean-up would begin.
Dishes would get cleaned up, laundry got sorted, all the Lego blocks were picked up off the floor and tidied away, the surfaces would get cleaned, and the floor swept. And once everything was sorted, once everything was in the place it was supposed to be, and the kids were safely asleep in bed, Rebecca and I would sit down, throw our feet up, and usually make a sound that goes something like this: Ahhhhh.
Many of you know that exact moment and that same feeling. A mixture of relief, joy, love, and exhaustion! What is most remarkable about this routine is that we would do this every night. We would do it in the knowledge that just a few hours later, Shay, my three-year-old, would come ripping down the stairs to begin a new day, and the Lego is going to go everywhere, crumbs all over the place, sticky chocolate hands on the wall and crayons on the floor. It was temporary, but those few moments each evening when we would experience a few moments of peace were glorious. “Peace at last,” one children’s book beautifully proclaims.
The pursuit of peace in our lives is a quest that we are all on. We get to taste it every so often or sample it and instantly want more. But then it seems to elude us. We know that peace is essential, yet it often seems absent from our lives.
I wonder what it would be like to know peace in my life? Imagine everything in its perfect place, everyone in their perfect place.
God Puts Everything Back In Its Place
When we set out to journey towards Easter, we want to remember the big picture of what is happening. What is happening in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus?
The Easter story doesn’t begin on Palm Sunday when a good teacher, a religious man, decides to announce that he is the long-awaited King of Israel, leading to his death. The Easter story started with a promise in the Garden of Eden thousands of years earlier. In that place, when something perfect and pure became broken and distorted- when the creation became separated from its creator by sin, rebellion, and disobedience. In our darkest moment, the love of God was victorious as he declared that he would make a way to bring it all back- that once was broken would become fixed.
When I think of the Easter story, I often think of the mess we made, like our kids, with their sticky fingers, Legos, and trails of destruction. God, moving towards us like the patient parent, bringing restoration, order, and peace. Everything being put back into its perfect place, everyone back in their perfect place.
When I think of the Easter story, I often think of the mess we made, like our kids, with their sticky fingers, Legos, and trails of destruction.
Peace At Last
In the book of Colossians in the New Testament- Paul, the writer, is boasting in the resurrection of Jesus. As he teaches the church, he wants them to understand that there is no one like Jesus. There has never been, there never will be. He is supreme.
This was an important lesson for this church because they liked Jesus. But they liked other ideas too. The Colossians enjoyed Easter, but they also loved angels. They may have liked the Living God, but they also adored statues. While they stood for truth, they also liked empty philosophy. Paul, their Pastor, wants it to be clear that liking Jesus is not an option. When you understand who Jesus is, and what he has done and what he will do, you must bow the knee and worship him. Listen to this teaching from the pastor of Colossae:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20 ESV
Paul is painting a picture with his words. The image is of God taking all that is broken, distorted, and screwed up by the Fall and bringing it together into one beautiful story. Everything in its perfect place, everyone in their perfect place.
Peace at last.
Eugene Peterson adds beautiful insight to these verses in his Message version of the same text:
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. Colossians 1:15-20 The Message.
Jesus allowed himself to be broken, and through his brokenness, we are invited into this cosmic moment. Resurrection brings us peace.
This Easter, remember, because of the cross, peace at last!