EasterBlog 2014! He Is Going Ahead of You…

If you’re reading this and haven’t heard it proclaimed yet: Christ has risen! Happy Easter!

I woke up this morning with two quotes in my head, both words of angels/messengers from the resurrection narratives in the Gospels.

The first from Luke 24:5:

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”

And the second from Matthew 28:7

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee…”

 

Those words are sticking with me today. From the first announcement of the resurrection (in Matthew) Jesus reminds his disciples he’s going ahead of them, in their case, into upGalilee. He is risen. And he’s going ahead of you. Get up and get going. Following Jesus means you can’t hang out in the graveyard anymore or hide behind a locked door for fear of the bad guys. (Apologies, sort of, for synthesizing the Gospel accounts here!) Following jJesus also means he’s out ahead of us. Having blazed the trail through sin and death, he continues trail-blazing. He’s calling us toward the future. Toward his mission. Toward folks who haven’t met him yet. Towards the poor. Towards the powerless. Towards those who desperately need to encounter the Good News. Towards our enemies. And he’s not calling us to go anywhere he hasn’t already been. He is risen, and he’s going ahead of you.

Why would you hang around the cemetery among the dead when Jesus is on the move? Get going! Easter means he’s alive! And Jesus’ life and mission aren’t separable… Jesus is always on a mission. Follow him. Get out of the graveyard and get going. He’s already in Galilee doing stuff. What are you waiting for?

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LentBlog Day 38: WAKE UP!

Romans 13:11-14

Our sons are awesome little guys. Our 2-year old, Charlie, is way more a morning person than I will ever be. When the sun is up, so is Charlie, ready for some warm chocolate milk and some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The other day we were actually sleeping in a bit on a Saturday when Charlie came in our room and said, “Mommy, Daddy… sun is up! I get up!” Thanks, Spring-ahead time change. The one day we get to sleep in… and it wasn’t happening.

See, I kind of like that early morning, cool sheets, no worries, day hasn’t started feeling of just resting…  That, and my summer of marching Drum & Bugle Corps taught me how to sleep pretty much anywhere. But that “aaaaahhh” feeling of another hour before sunrise to just chill and rest gets me almost every time.

I think this passage of Scripture is a klanging, brassy alarm clock to that kind of attitude when it comes to our faith and life in the world.wakeup

I think would say when the church gets to comfortable with their dreamy, trance-like, snuggly-cozy, no responsibilities, rest of the world doesn’t exist sleepiness, we’re headed for trouble.

And I think many churches have lived there for way too long.

While we’ve been snuggled under the sheets, hitting the snooze-button just one more time, our culture has left us behind. And many times when someone has the courage to come along and say, “WAKE UP!!” they become either targets for unfounded attack or hipster talking points we post about but don’t really heed.

I think Paul is pleading with the church, then and now, to wake up. Turn the Light on. Take a shower and throw some water on your face. Get dressed. Drink some coffee. Now get out there and live-out your calling to love!

The question is, will the Master find us sleeping… comfortable but clueless; rested but ineffective… or will He find his people spending themselves in his Mission to save the world?

I’ll leave you with that while I go set my alarm.

Blessings,

Mark