Easter means…

What is Easter really all about?

No, Easter isn’t about eggs, bunnies, and Spring time.

Easter is about resurrection.

Jesus’ resurrection and therefore, our resurrection.

NT Wright in his books covering the life and resurrection points out the belief of the Jews of Jesus’ day regarding resurrection. Resurrection wasn’t a new idea at the time of Jesus.

The belief was that the Creator God  was going to one day forgive the sins of the people, recreate the cosmos, set the world right, and bodily resurrect the righteous dead.  This was going to be a one time event on a mass scale. I believe it still will be.

However, when Jesus rose from the dead it was completely unexpected (except for the times He seemed to talk about it). No one was expecting that one person would be resurrected, in the middle of history, because it was supposed to be a mass scale event for all creation. But, Jesus went first. He received a new Spirit-powered transformed body that could not get sick or die. He was able to eat, be touched, and yet able to enter rooms that were locked. Cool!

Here is the good news for us: Jesus’ resurrection paved the way, and promises us, the same resurrection!  There will be a day in which we will be resurrected and we will receive Spirit-powered transformed physical bodies, like Jesus’. This resurrection moment will also set the world right, bring in justice, and heal creation.

This is a key thing we celebrate at Easter.

 

 

Kudos

On my last day in Ethiopia my group was riding in a van and came to a stop.  As usual people approached the windows to beg for food or money.  We were instructed to not give money.  But, we had brought some snacks to eat from home and decided to give some to people.

I passed out a bag of Cheez-its to a woman and her small child.  Then an older woman approached my window.  As I prepared to hand out a Kudos bar, she held up both hands and all of her fingers were missing.  She had two palms that looked worn.  She was dirty and looked very poor.  As she looked me in the eye I placed the Kudos bar between her two palms.  Our hands touched.

We pulled away and I had the strongest urge to grab a bottle of anti-bacterial lotion and cleanse my hands.  I wanted to stay clean.  But, I resisted the urge…

As we drove away I wrestled within my heart.  I  thought of Jesus touching the lepers, the unclean and the outcasts.  He met practical needs, but also shared his very life.  He seemed so comfortable in uncomfortable circumstances.

So, I resisted the urge to use the anti-bacterial lotion…

… for 10 min.

Kudos to Jesus for showing us how to truly love.

Help me God to stop trying to protect myself and stay tidy and clean.  Bless the woman with the Kudos bar.  Amen.

Let me see your eyes!

I have a tension.  My daughter enjoys talking to me in the evenings and I like to get to my “ME” time when they are finally in bed.  (I know I’m selfish.) Once she was talking to me and I was grunting and nodding along and standing at the door with my ear into her room, but I was looking away.  She kept talking louder and I told her to not speak so loud.  I told her I was listening.  Frustrated, she finally just said,

“Dad let me see your eyes when I’m talking.”

I heard her, but I wasn’t truly listening.   She wanted my attention and my focus, because it communicated value.  Hearing wasn’t enough – she wanted me.

I’m trying to be an apprentice of Jesus and I’m challenged and amazed at how Jesus took the time to lock eyes and give his undivided attention to people.  Jesus was busy, he traveled constantly, he was surrounded by crowds and pressing needs.  He above all, deserved some “ME” time.  However, he took time for all kinds of people to really see them… really understand… really love them.

Could an “interruption” today, be an opportunity to be like Jesus?

Who today will need to see my eyes and have my attention?