Dear Friends in Christ,
As we enter the month of May, we continue with the Easter celebration. We are now in that wondrous season of the church year where the great news of our Lord's victory rings out in everything we do - Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!
A retired pastor friend of mine sent me an article that he wrote for Easter. Let me share what he wrote:
It is Easter and the day to preach and share the good news of Jesus Christ, Risen. It is one thing to say, he is risen, it is another to ask what is resurrection living? What did he die for? For our sins? Yes. For our salvation? Yes. But there has to be more to this than just celebrating the resurrection of Jesus 2000 years ago. Then we look around and see resurrection stories happening around us. We begin to see the Resurrected Lord Jesus working in and through us in the most ordinary and yet extraordinary ways:
In 1967 Doug Nicols was doing missions work in India when he contracted tuberculosis and was committed to a sanitarium for several months. In the TB sanitarium, Doug found himself in a lonely, confusing, and troubled place. He did not know the language of the other patients, but he wanted to share the Good News of Jesus with others.
All Doug had in the sanitarium were a few gospel tracts in their language, Parsee. He tried to pass them out, but nobody wanted them. Then one night, Doug woke up at 2:00 AM, coughing so violently that he could not catch his breath. During this coughing fit, Doug noticed a little old emaciated man across the aisle trying to get out of bed. He was so weak he could not stand up. He began to whimper. He tried again, but to no avail.
In the morning Doug realized that the man had been trying to get up to use the bathroom. The stench in the ward was terrible. The other patients were angry at the old man for not being able to contain himself. The nurse cleaned up the mess and then slapped the man.
The next night, again Doug saw the old man trying to get out of bed, but this time Doug got out of bed, picked up the old man, and carried him to the toilet (just a hole in the floor) and then brought him back to his bed. The old man kissed Doug on the cheek and promptly went to sleep.
Early the next morning, Doug awoke to a steaming cup of tea beside his bed. Another patient had kindly made it for him. The patient motioned that he wanted one of those gospel tracts. The next two days, one after another patient asked, "Could I have one of those tracts too?"
Adapted from Wayne Cordeiro, Jesus: Pure and Simple (Bethany House, 2012), pp. 59-60.
The gift of carrying a dying man to the toilet becomes the witness to others to find out what makes this man do this. The gift of caring for another human being's most basic needs becomes the event in which the Easter message is shared in that dark place. This is the Easter story. This is why Jesus dared to come back into our world and into our lives so that we could make a resurrection difference at the most basic level of life.
My friends, Be Easter to those around you whether you know them or not. Be Resurrection in the relationships that have gone sour. Be the presence of Jesus Christ in such a way that even the alligators in the church will turn from criticism into sharing the Joy of Life!
During this Easter Season, embrace the Grace that has been poured into your Hearts by the Holy Spirit for at the right time Jesus Christ died and was raised for us all!