Tag Archives: life

Does the Resurrection Matter?

Does the resurrection really matter?

Trust me, this isn’t a lecture about why you should attend church on Easter Sunday or why you should attend church the other 51 days during the year.

The question is why the resurrection matters in life. Does it make any difference in your every day, drag-yourself-to-work kind of day that involves paying bills, eating, fighting colds, and visiting the in-laws?IMG_2526

This is the question that will change the destiny of your life, in the temporal sense, as well as the eternal. So let’s get the eternal out of the way right now. That’s easy. Easter is coming, and you’ve got eggs to dye and bunny cookies to make.

The discussion of the resurrection begins with the person who marks the end of B.C. (“before Christ”) and the onset of A.D. Anno Domini (“in the year of our Lord”). History itself revolves around Jesus, the only human to cheat death of his own free will and power. This is the resurrection everyone must confront at some point in his life–the historical data that there lived a perfect prophet (i.e.. God’s son) who died and raised himself to life and returned to heaven.

Mohammed, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul III, Martin Luther, and Martin Luther King Jr. were all spiritual leaders. But they are all dead. They have tombs where their bodies are rotting, and they have remained powerless to stop the process. Jesus’ tomb, however, sits empty. His resurrection power gives resurrection power to everything else in my life–yes, even in my normal non-Easter life.

That resurrection affects all the day-to-day resurrections in our temporal world. Belief in Jesus’ resurrection spearheads all other possible resurrections, and you do believe in those, even if you don’t believe in Him. Let me explain.

The sun comes up every morning, inspiring us to productivity, yet sets every night, under the equally important light of the moon, which ushers rest into our hurried lives. We couldn’t stop the power of our solar system, even if we tried. We count on it.

Seeds die so new life can grow. Each spring, flowers burst forth anew, trees re-bud and bear fruit, year after year. The food cycle continues, the animal kingdom functions, all in tandem, all in natural rejuvenation. Nature renews itself without our help.

In every family, the elderly pass away, and the young bring new babies into the world, all pink and innocent and full of wonder. Incredibly, new life follows on the heels of death.

Tragedy brings tears, yet laughter brings joy; even midst heartache, a laugh or a smile can chase away pain. How does this phenomenon work?

And let’s not forget the resurrection of the human spirit–the daring challenge of starting over when all seems lost:  the battered wife who breaks free, the broken marriage that repairs itself, the addict who accepts accountability, the slave who escapes, the abused who disarms the power of the abuser. These are resurrections, and they are the resurrections that defeat God’s enemy, just as His resurrection defeated his enemy 2,000 years ago.

A lifestyle of resurrection chooses change when the status quo would be easier. It believes in the unexplainable without embarrassment because it has lived the transformation. It gives when it feels empty. It loves when it feels hated. It confesses when it sins. It believes when life seems hopeless.

This is the power of the resurrection, every day, from now till eternity. And then it begins again.

John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?'”

A Look Inside

Do you look inside yourself? Really look and listen? Your actions are speaking to you. Yes, they speak to others, but more importantly, they talk to you about who you are and why you feel the way you feel.

Embarrassment tells me I’m too full of myself.

Arrogance tells me I’m deluded.

Hurt tells me to reach out and mend the gap.

Anxiety tells me I’m bearing a weight not meant for me to carry.

Failure tells me I’m on the verge of growth.

Success tells me I’m blessed beyond measure.

What is your life trying to tell you?

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently in the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.”–James 1:24-25

Every Time I Look in the Mirror

mom picMom, I see you every time I look in the mirror. In my twenties and thirties, I might not have appreciated the similarities as much as I do now.

When I’m walking past a car window or hallway mirror, I catch a fleeting image of my face. It startles me, because I think I’ve just seen you, yet I know you’re not here with me. Now that I’m older, you show more on me–there’s the slight double chin, the serious expression that demands perfection of yourself, the jowly cheeks starting to droop from my once heart-shaped face. Strands of gray hair hiding amongst the brown.

We looked alike when we were younger; we look alike now, too.

I’m not perfect, but I’m so grateful that I’m turning into you. You gave me devotion to literature and art, an obsession with books, a delight in children, a passion for the people of God, a compulsion to serve others, a quest-filled pursuit to learn more about everything–especially about my spiritual journey.

Every mother gives life. But the truly inspired and saintly moms give life in a myriad of other ways, ones that aren’t visible until perhaps later on the maturity timeline. Those moms lay a foundation for their children and grandchildren to engage life with resilience and joy, giving them the ability to see beyond themselves and the circles of their own human existence. Those moms mold lives that keep on living, even after death.

When I look in the mirror, I see you, but I also see something greater than you. I see Jesus living through me:  pursuing, loving, serving. It is the purest of all reflections.

Thanks, Mom, for sewing yourself into the fabric of my being.

 

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”–1 Cor. 13:12-13