This week has been rough on everyone, myself included. I'm pretty sure I only know two people who had a banner week, and that's because they are new mommies. Then again, I'm sure that the new baby glow gets a little dimmed during middle-of-the-night feedings and moments of, "Am I doing this right?" Anyway, as crummy as this week has been for many people, I'm reminded of last week's sermon at church when we listened to the passages telling the story of Jesus' passion leading up to and through Good Friday.
No one has ever had a worse day than that. Being beaten, betrayed, crucified under the weight of the sins of the whole world? Yeah, my worries are minuscule compared to any one minute of the day that Jesus had on Good Friday (Matthew 27). Nothing compares to the pain and suffering that Jesus did for every person past, present and future in the entire world.
You know what else doesn't match up? His love for us. I might love things and people, but to be crucified and forsaken and killed for the very people that nailed you to a cross? I couldn't do it. Good thing that God loved us all so much that he did. (John 3:16)
When I taught Sunday School, no matter what the question was, the answer always seemed to be Jesus. The little 3- and 4-year-olds were very matter of fact about it, too. When a little boy shared that his baby brother was in Heaven, another little boy said, "That's OK. Jesus died and rose so we get to go to Heaven and see your baby brother. That's Easter." How simple and beautiful that grace-filled explanation is!
So, I encourage all of you to take a moment today, even if you're having a bad day, and remember the (understatement) bad day that Jesus had so that we would never have to go through that. Instead, we get to look toward the joy and hope that his resurrection on Easter brings us. Because he loves us that incomprehensibly much.
This blog post wouldn't be true to it's mission of sharing another kind of love, food love, if I didn't add a sweet recipe to the sweet message of being redeemed. I hope you get to celebrate with all your family this holiday and enjoy time with them around a wonderful meal. If you're having ham as the main part of your meal, here's my favorite sweet glaze: sweet mustard glaze.
Sweet Mustard Glaze for Holiday Ham
2-3 cups orange juice (depending on how big the ham is)
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
Heat all the ingredients in a sauce pan and mix well. Pour over the ham in the last hour-45 minutes of baking. Enjoy!