Friday, April 14, 2006

I promised a Redux, didn't I?

Ain't happening. I was given the green light to go home, and I'm taking it. So I'll leave you with a few (hopefully) pithy comments to take you through the weekend.


The whole course of human history shifted, while everyone in Jerusalem was making Passover plans. They didn't even see the miracle happening right in their midst. And it's still happening to us. We get so caught up in our lives that we miss the miracle of Christ, which is still happening and still powerful. Christ in us, the hope of glory. We are being renewed day by day, little by little, made holy, made like Christ. Our sins are forgiven, now and forever. Hallelujah, praise the Lamb.

I haven't been commemorating Holy Week. Like those folks in Jerusalem roughly 2000 years ago, I've just been going about my business. Fretting about bills and worrying about picking up another job. I've been rushing around taking care of this and that, talking to this person and that person. Living life, and working the daily grind. All the time, I remembered in the back of my mind, "oh yeah, Holy Week." But I never did anything to recognize or celebrate that. I was too busy.

And tonight, instead of celebrating the death of my Savior, I'll be going to a hockey game with my dad. Not exactly the most solemn choice of activity for Good Friday. But then again, even if I was planning stained glass and candles all week, I still haven't made this Friday any holier. Since I got up this morning, I've been angry, I've sworn, I've lusted, I've been lazy, I've gossiped, and I've lied. I'm a mess today. And though these sins are forgiven, and though I've confessed them, I'm still a mess.

But that's exactly why Christ came. He didn't come for the holy, but for the profane. He came for the messes. He spent his time, touching and healing and loving and valuing messed-up, sinful people like me. The religious establishment wigged out when He did this. But He knew that this was His mission. To heal the sick, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually. To find the lost. To lift up the cast-down. To give life to the dying. To cover the shamed. To restore the prodigal children back to their Father.

This is the miracle of Easter. God is with us. And now, through the work of Christ in our hearts and lives, we can be with Him.

Look, I don't know where you are in your spiritual journey. If you're confused or stuck in a rut or don't know where to turn, let me give you a guidepost. Spirituality is cool and all, but it's not salvation. You can be spiritual, you can say the right words, but unless you have actually willfully given your life to Christ, and made Him your Savior and Master, you've missed it. Jesus didn't die to give us good vibes. He died to cover our sins, but we must choose to accept that covering. With accepting that covering comes the choice to make Him our Lord, and to do what He says to do.

When we do this, when we make this choice, when we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we are saved. We are in God's family, and no one can take us out of His mighty hand. Then the change begins. Then things start happening. We may stray, we may screw up, we may even turn our backs on Him for a time, but we are always His, and He always welcomes us back.

This is what Easter is. God saying, "I want to make you my son, my daughter. I want to give you life. If you will give yourself to me and put your trust in my Son, you can be free. You can be made whole."

There's the choice. Embrace this truth, or reject it. Either/or. No middle ground, no half-commitments. Yes or no.

Don't be so busy that you miss this.

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