Wave After Wave

By Michael Agnew
By Zabdi Piña
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By John Hames
By Makenzie Romero
By Caroline Khameneh
By Victoria Renken
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Paul Leadabrand
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Justus George
By Lori Kuykendall
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Courtney Grimes
By Jessie Yearwood
By Jeff Black
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Sandhya Curran
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Alf Laukoter
By Neil Wiersum
By Jim Henry
By Erick Rodriguez
By Jenn Wright
By Kevin Harwood
By Nandi Roszhart
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Albán Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

Several weeks ago my family and I found ourselves downtown, and as we walked across a plaza we found ourselves at the JFK Memorial. I watched as one of my daughters bounded up to the structure, stood at its base, and marveled at its scale. Immediately I was confronted by the holy and heartbreaking collision of life and death and joy and horror, and I began to feel something in my chest that my head is still trying to understand.
 
Part of what it means to be alive, to draw breath in this beautiful and frightful creation, is to be haunted by wave after wave of loss. Sometimes the waves crash and spit and spray against the rocks of our hearts and minds. Sometimes the waves slide, smooth and fluid, across the surface of our conversations and screens. Either way, the waves come and we must reckon with our chronic condition: our capacity for destruction and decay far exceeds our ability to fix ourselves through creativity, reason, or sheer force of will.
 
People who should be alive today have instead been taken. Families that should be whole today have instead been hollowed. Communities that should be flourishing today have instead been wrecked.
 
Wave after wave.
 
Jordan Edwards. Janeera Gonzalez. Two tragedies so near to us that sit atop dozens and hundreds of others that haven’t garnered national attention this week. There are more I could name. There are more you could name. These amount to the steady output of a culture that breeds loss as a matter of course.
 
Wave after wave.
 
I wonder, what do you do with the waves when they come?
 
Personally, I’m often tempted to despair, which I’ve learned to mitigate through anger, rationalizing, or some good old-fashioned numbing. But Easter bears witness to another response, an antidote found in the grace and power of the risen Jesus. Easter bears witness to hope.
 
The text of our Easter Sunday message was written by a man well acquainted with loss to readers well acquainted with loss:
 

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1 Peter 1:3-6)

 
Although our bodies and souls bear the scars of grief—of the violence we’ve done and the violence done to us—we cultivate and possess and express the great joy that comes from resurrection hope. Because the world’s capacity for destruction and decay will not—can not—overcome the living hope to which we cling. We belong to the crucified and risen Jesus, who himself suffered horrific violence in order to make inexhaustible peace.
 
We’ve been given new birth into a living hope, and so we don’t run or hide from a world of loss, but rather we seek the kingdom of Christ in the midst of it all. May he rule and reign in our hearts, bruised and broken though they may be. May he rule and reign in our homes and in our fellowship, flawed though they may be. May he rule and reign in this city we love so much, wounded though it may be.
 
May present and future confrontations with loss lead us to our present and future hope, wave after wave. May the specter of death compel us toward missionary discipleship. May we be a transformed people who work and watch and pray for a transformed city.

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