Sunday, March 31, 2013

I Won't Be Home for Easter

Note:  I spent Easter 2001 in Europe.  Raymond was in a completely different country due to medical issues.  I was depressed.  This is the fresh perspective the Lord gave  me:

 Not Home for Easter
“I wasn’t home for Easter,” I whined to myself Easter evening.  I knew that my extended family would be gathering together at Mom’s that day…without me.  Raymond was in Zagreb, Croatia…without me.  All the churches in America were praising the Lord in special services…without me.  Even though the kids and I had a nice day I still felt a bit down. I decided to take a hot bath and feel sorry for myself.  That’s when I thought I heard the Lord say, “I wasn’t home for Easter [1] either.”
 What’s that again?
 “I wasn’t home for Easter either.”
My imagination began to ponder this, and I realized it was true.  The Bible says that the women went to the tomb very early in the morning while it was still dark [2] and the tomb was empty.  That means that Jesus re-entered His glorified body just as the day was getting started.
“I won’t be home for Easter,” I can hear Jesus saying to the angels.  “I’ve got some unfinished business to take care of.” 
A gasp of disbelief must have escaped the multitude of the heavenly host as they cried, “But, but, You just got home!  We’ve missed You.  Have You forgotten what they did to You down there?”
I don’t know if that conversation did or did not take place the night before Easter.  Theologians disagree on where Jesus actually was during the time His body was in the tomb, and I’m no theologian.  I do know He told the thief they would be together in paradise [3] that day, so I’m inclined to think Jesus saw the Father and the heavenly host at some point that weekend.
  Can you imagine?  After 33 years of being trapped in a human body, trudging along dusty roads, getting thirsty, hungry and tired; three years of dealing with doubters and people who only wanted what they could get from Him; days of betrayal, denial, and intense suffering- He deserved a rest, don’t you think?  “It is finished,” He had cried. [4]  I’m sure those golden streets, worshipping angels, and the presence of His Holy Father were a sight for sore eyes.  He was finally home.  Home in the place where there is no sickness, no sorrow, no pain, and no death. What possible reason could He have for going back?
Was it to teach them how to get along with each other?  That was accomplished by His life.
Was it to pay the price of sin and open the door of heaven?  That was accomplished by His death, His blood.
Was it to show Satan Who was really in control?  I believe Satan already knew that, why else would the demons Jesus cast out beg Him not to torture them before their appointed time? [5]
I can picture Jesus turning toward the angels and explaining with a tender voice, “I know Who I really am, and you know who I really am, but my earthly friends are confused right now about everything and need Me just a little longer.  Peter needs to know He’s forgiven. [6]  My mother needs to know Bethlehem wasn’t just a dream.  Mary Magdalene needs to know those demons won’t bother her anymore. [7] Lazarus needs to know that though he will die again, he will live again this time forever. [8]  They all need to know that the abundant life I promised begins now [9]; they don’t have to wait until heaven.”  Perhaps he paused and with a twinkle in His eye continued, “If you think Sarah was astounded with Isaac [10] and Moses amazed with the Red Sea[11], just wait.  This will be my finest moment yet.  I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces!” 

I’m so glad He didn’t stay Home.

[1] I realize the term “Easter” is not accurate here and throughout the rest of this article. I use it, however, for want of a better term.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Will it Be Alive Tomorrow?

“Will it be alive tomorrow?” Mylee asked mournfully of the dead pine siskin she discovered in the yard.
“No,” I replied sadly, wishing I had found and disposed of it first. “It won’t.”  We stood together in silence for a moment before I suggested we go over to the bird feeder and watch the living birds. Good plan. Soon she was distracted by trying to sneak up on the multitude of birds enjoying sunflower seeds, and I didn’t have to explain the mysteries of life and death to a three-year-old:  Death is part of life, and dead is dead.
That was yesterday afternoon.  Mylee has since picked grass for her great-grandmother’s horses, watched Tom and Jerry on TV, taken a nap, played chase around the house, and gone home.  I’m sure she’ll be up and running today seeking out new adventures, distracted by new mysteries. 
Me? Today I’m still thinking about the query of a three year old:  “Will it be alive tomorrow?”  I wish I could have answered differently, but in this world dead is dead - the end.  
There is a world where “dead” is non-existent, where all is life, where you don’t bury lady bugs (we did that too), or grieve dead birds.  A world where hope is a reality and faith becomes sight.  One day I pray Mylee can understand this truth:  THAT world collided with THIS world once upon a time!  Can’t you just imagine a Jewish three-year-old mourning near a certain tomb outside of Jerusalem over 2000 years ago asking, “Will He be alive tomorrow?”

Though no one knew it at the time, the answer was a resounding, “YES!”

Note: Mylee entered our lives when our daughter Cassie married Mylee’s Uncle Mason.  Because Cassie is keeping and teaching Mylee while her parents work we have the indescribable joy of seeing the world through her eyes.  What beautiful eyes she has!