Tag Archives: Resurrection

If Only Forever

Katy (Image source: Vincent Dixon/Mimi Foundation)

Katy (Image source: Vincent Dixon/Mimi Foundation)

What if you could see yourself in a perfect glorified body, free from the miseries and heaviness of life? What if you could catch a glimpse of what it might be like to have no sickness, crying, or pain, and even more than that, freedom from sin? I could not help but think of the future glory of all those who are in Christ as I read a story and watched a short clip of a project called “If Only for a Second,” put together by the Mimi Foundation. The concept for the project is simple: give cancer patients a moment when they can forget their disease, if only for a second, and capture that moment in a photograph.

I must admit that I did not have great expectations for what I was about to witness. The cynic in me was about to write it off as a novel approach to capitalize on suffering. I have since tabled that notion. Have I forgotten that the world suffers and is desperate to find relief, if just for a single moment? As I watched, I was reminded of the universal suffering we all share, and how so many will never be free from it. As I saw the faces of those people light up in astonishment and joy, I couldn’t help but sink into sadness. I have watched my share of cancer victims slip into eternity without any assurance of being free from their suffering. Then my mind quickly ran to the hope that possesses me. I think of the moment when believers will finally be perfected and glorified with new resurrected bodies (1 Cor 15), when we see Jesus face-to-face, and He wipes away all our tears (Rev 21:4). This is the Blessed Hope of every believer.

If only we would live like we really believed it. If only we could catch a glimpse of our future condition as well as others. In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis challenges us to reflect on the future glory that awaits believers

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…”

I applaud what the Mimi Foundation is doing. I wouldn’t want them to do any less, but as Christians, we have more to offer. Let’s live in light of our future glory holding out hope to those who are dying.

Santa Claus, Jesus, and the Easter Bunny

Don’t forget
When was the last time you were admonished to remember the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus? “Don’t forget Peter Cottontail!” What I can recall is being reminded that Jesus is the “reason for the season” and that we should put “Christ back in Christmas.”Actually, come to think of it, I don’t recall any admonishments to remember Jesus during Easter.

Everything is better with chocolate
Why do we go to such great lengths to distract our children from the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for our justification? Isn’t the fact that Jesus came out of a grave alive amazing enough to fill their hearts with wonder and awe? How long will we have our children scavenge around for hard-boiled chicken eggs in the back yard or church grounds? Why are we trying to convince them that an imaginary bunny brings them baskets of goodies? Do these things actually supplement the resurrection message? I thought we lived by faith alone in the Son of God. Can we add anything to improve on such a wonderful story–and a true one at that?

What do we believe, again?
Why do we as parents dilute and pollute our celebrations of two of the greatest events in human history with silly fairy tales and expect our children to stand in awe of Jesus? I am reluctant to call them fairy tales. I was never led to truly believe in Mother Goose or Peter Pan. Aren’t the crowning miracles of Jesus’ birth and resurrection in the Bible enough to keep their attention? Do we think we are robbing our children of something by not giving into these cheap worldly gimmicks? I think we are actually robbing them by distracting them from the Lord of Life with cheap momentary delights. It saddens me to see those bumper stickers reminding us to not forget Jesus during the holidays. It saddens me because those messages of “Put Christ back in Christmas” and “Jesus the Reason for the Season” seem to be rebukes to a lost world who has already rebuked us. I remember a comedian years ago say, “Once I found out that Santa and the Easter Bunny weren’t real, God and Jesus didn’t stand a chance.”

Do not try this at home…
Imagine a husband telling his wife, “Honey, in order that the children will have something to look forward to on your birthday, let’s incorporate a fun character to celebrate the day you were born. His name will be Jimmy the Purple Roller-Skating Giraffe. We will have a really fun little jingle to sing and all kinds of games. Then we will give gifts to the kids in the name of Jimmy the Giraffe. So every year as your birthday approaches, they will have something to look forward to, and I will be sure to remind them to think of you. I really think this will cause the children to appreciate you more as a mother.”
How many wives and mothers will buy into that? If she doesn’t like the birthday idea, try Mother’s Day.

New Tradition
Here’s a novel idea: Let’s just leave Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny out of it, then we wouldn’t have a hard time remembering Jesus. Keep your fun and games and celebrate them on a different day. Get an early start on it. Do Santa Day on December 1st. Hunt for eggs and eat chocolate two weeks before Easter. Call the day our Lord rose from the dead Resurrection Sunday. I don’t need a history lesson of how we derived the name Easter and the supposed good intentions of well-meaning Christians centuries ago. If we are true Reformers, then let’s reform poor labels and traditions during our holy days. Whatever we do, if we are going to set aside a day to celebrate Jesus, then let’s not share His glory with another. Let’s recognize His Lordship over those days and everyday in between.