The Day After The Sky Fell

I don’t know why Marcus started playing that movie. It seemed so random. I’ve been staking out in his office in Los Osos for the last few weeks doing stuff for the church before settling into my own office in Morro Bay. I was just going about my own business with my headphones on when he returned to his computer. Next thing I know, I look up and there on the screen a movie is playing. “What are you watching, dude?”

That morning my wife and I had gone out to coffee to study the Bible together. I asked her if she had any passages that were particularly on her heart that morning. She didn’t. So I turned to Psalm 146. A couple verses there had been stuck in my head since the elections the previous night. “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.”

The night before my Facebook feed had been buzzing as the re-election of President Obama flooded every media outlet known to man. It seemed to me that for every elated Facebook friend there were two that were outraged. The sky was falling and half the population was moving to Canada. I wondered what my life would look like, not only with Obama getting another four years, but with so many friends and family moving out of country.

So much doom was being spoken over this country in the form of status updates and tweets. I had to consciously decide if I would scroll through them and hear my friends bicker among themselves.

As I sat there over coffee with Melissa, I likened Psalm 146 to something like God’s political platform. He made heaven, the earth and the sea. He keeps the truth forever. Executes justice for the oppressed. Feeds the hungry. Frees prisoners. Heals the blind. Watches over strangers. Relieves the orphaned and widowed. Turns the wicked’s ways on their head.

Now that’s the truth. That’s hope I can believe in. I thought that was a good place to leave it as far as the political atmosphere goes. Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya.

But then Marcus put on that movie. ” Really? Who just randomly decides to watch The Passion of the Christ?” I thought to myself. I decided that I would only remain for a couple scenes, then relocate to the sanctuary with my laptop. As I watched Jesus being beaten, I decided that it would be wrong to leave during such a scene. As a Christian I ought to stay with Him through this painful scene. The only problem with that is, the whole movie is filled with Him being beat, scene after scene, it doesn’t let up. Just like it didn’t let up when it actually happened. I sat through the whole movie for the first time since it was in theaters.

If the story of Jesus being crucified doesn’t shake us to the core, I don’t know what will. Marcus and I just sat in silence after the movie ended. Our hearts afforded few words.

The cross ought to change our perspective about everything. Everything compared to the cross of Christ is trivial. All of history hinges around a three day period where Jesus died, was buried and resurrected. I don’t mean to make light of the election, other historical events or anything else going on, but in a way I do mean to make light of them, because it is infinitely less significant to what happened on Calvary. And for us to get so wrapped up in that which is trivial is sin. “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man.” Do not put your trust in Obama or Romney or any other person. Their plans will perish.

As I watched that movie yesterday, I had a new revelation of God’s love for us. A love that knows no limits. A love that will go to the gates of hell and back for each of us. As a new father, I couldn’t help but be moved by Mary, but even more by Jesus’ Father, who allowed that atrocious event to take place on His beloved Son. I always thought about if I would be able to follow Jesus in an actual crucifixion, but what struck me more during the movie was would I allow my daughter, Promise, to be beaten and crucified in order for any other person to come to know the Lord. That’s His love for us.

In light of that love, that unrelenting, sacrificial to the extreme kind of love, what on earth could we be worried about?

Whatever your views are on the election or whatever is going on in your life that has you disheartened or tired, know that the Father’s love for you is real and enormous and you have nothing to fear. Beyond that, know that Jesus has overcome everything. The price has been paid! The tomb is empty!

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If you’re like me and have had worries regarding the election, other world events or other personal events, or you have friends that have those worries, I’d encourage you with the love of God poured out for you and your friends. Share that with them, even share this post if you think it appropriate.

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Author: Brandon Stiver

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, living and working in Moshi, Tanzania. My wife is named Melissa and we have three children: Moses, Promise and Shepherd. We are directors over an orphan care ministry called Kingdom Families; advocating for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children and assisting families to welcome them into their homes as sons and daughters.

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