That’s one thing heavy on my mind.
The other is that for those who are part of the GBC family, you’ll know that I have been dealing with skin cancer recently. Considering my family history with this disease it can be a pretty scary thing but I seek to manage my emotions through the process. The problem is as I navigate our health care system and how various professionals can’t seem to co-ordinate their thoughts and actions it becomes difficult to not be distracted or get caught up in the ‘white noise’ of it.
And with all this in mind I stand at the threshold of Easter.
It would be so easy to miss it, or to go through the motions and let it pass. But it’s for these reasons we really need to dig in and embrace not just the weekend but what’s behind it.
When Jesus took bread and a cup during his followers Passover celebration and said: “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) did he know the distractions they had or the temptations they would face? Of course he did! He knew how hard it would be, the long road ahead for them and by extension for all of us. He warned them, “In this world you WILL (emphasis added) have trouble,” in John 16 but he didn’t leave them hanging. He reminded them to “take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33).
We have the opportunity to not only remember this but celebrate the fact that sin was paid for on the cross and that death has been defeated by an empty tomb. Yes, that is worth celebrating and drawing encouragement from. But there’s more, we can also celebrate that JESUS has overcome the world so we don’t have to. We can also be comforted by it even when politics and cancer threaten to overwhelm our spirits and drag us down into the pit. This is a great thing to remember as we prepare for Easter: the cross is empty, the tomb is empty, Jesus is alive!
But we can also do this more than once a year and probably should because these challenges never go away. We have that opportunity every week here at GBC when we take communion during our Breaking of Bread service. We call it a remembrance service because we remember, as Jesus encouraged his followers the very first time, to do this in remembrance of him and keep doing it until he returns.
That’s great for the future, but what about the here and now? He’s got that covered too! “I will be with you always, to the very end of the age,”(Matt 28:20) Jesus said. This age will come to an end and a new age will be ushered in, the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s something worth remembering instead of all the distractions, and even more, it’s worth celebrating. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to think about this BEFORE Easter happened.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, while I can’t control the tone of the American presidential race, or the cancer in my body, I can control the emotions that result and what they make me do. So I can say that through the power of the Holy Spirit it is well with my soul (truly!).
Happy Easter! Jesus is alive!