In the concluding sermon on the final words of Jesus, Pastor Ed and the gospel writer, Luke, paint a picture of the end. Darkness, a veil torn, earthquake and rocks splitting was an event to behold and shake with fear if not wonder. Jesus never stopped impacting those around Him, even as He hung on the cross. Politicians, religious leaders, soldiers, mockers, convicted criminals, curious on-lookers, depressed and scared followers, to closest family and friends, all were touched by Jesus as His breathing grew labored and the spikes tore deeper. Before He gave up His Spirit, Jesus connected with his mother and friend, He eternally changed the life of a repentant criminal, He forgave mockers, killers, betrayers and humans everywhere. Despite what had to be absolute human agony, Jesus lived out mercy and grace. So much so that it enlightened the heart of a Roman centurion.
Reflecting on this past weekend’s message, I asked myself this week, “How am I impacting those around me?” The darkness that fell for three hours during the crucifixion made me wonder if when I show up somewhere, does a metaphorical darkness fall in the lives of the people around me. Are my interactions bringing lightness to lives touched by me or do I bring dark clouds? Are people impacted positively? Being anonymous and invisible does not count. Not making an impact or leaving no trace as I interact is not an option: Jesus clearly said we are to be the light of the world. Even in the most mundane of encounters do I do well? And in those times when I am oppressed, emotionally injured or wronged, do I live out mercy and grace?