Having to preach on both Good Friday and Easter Sunday I can’t not provide an Easter reflection so I will keep it short to be merciful to people who feel obligated to read it.
My faith is intersecting my life in ways that even I didn’t think were possible and I have been praying since I have been here that my faith is up to the task. There is the illustration that a man prayed for patience and God gave him opportunities to be patient. Well, don’t make requests of that kind of God and then go to a developing nation because boy does he respond. In being here I have seen more real life examples of redemption and resurrection than spiritual ones. It is hard to continue to view Easter and Jesus’ death and resurrection as just a spiritual event or one that has only metaphysical implications. When you live in a country that has many of the same social, political, and economic situations as first century Palestine you can’t help but see the point of Jesus’ death and the joy of his resurrection in a different light. I long for some of the political and world order implications of Jesus’ ministry as I observe the world around me. I have redemption of not only the soul, but the body and life to celebrate this year.
I know that many this weekend will enjoy family time and Easter dresses. There is nothing wrong with that, but during those times when you stop to think about the reason for celebration this weekend, don’t forget a few key points.
- Jesus did die for everyone, but not just as a sacrificial lamb for their invisible debt of sin. He was killed because he said that people who the powers to be didn’t like should be included in God’s kingdom. Who are we not including and what can we do about it? We all say we want to follow Jesus and this is what got him to his most important moment of ministry. Why stop short?
- Jesus is the servant of God’s new kingdom, but he is also the king and as such it is not his job to do everything for us, it is our job to carry out his will and seek his help along the way. That is how kings and subjects work.
- There should be celebration aplenty on Sunday morning, but not just because of the special music that makes the church ladies cry. There should be a celebration because of the here and now opportunities to be raised with Jesus into a new life. I have seen kids restored to what kids should be from lives of abuse and neglect. This is God’s work, it is miraculous, and it should be celebrated. Sing an extra song for them please.
I hope my tone is not one of chastisement, but there is much of the here and now to think about and celebrate this Easter. In our meditations, sermons, songs, and Sabbath time let us please not forget that our charge is not to have an extra special service on Easter morning, but to live out the full life that Jesus’ example lays out for us. There are day to day, week to week, life on life things we can be doing. Jesus lived out the perfect life example to the point of dying for others so that they may have a spot at the table NOW and not just in heaven where they already had the best seat in the house. The least we can do is make ourselves a little uncomfortable for his sake and theirs.
He is risen and he has expectations of his followers!