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Saturday, March 22, 2008

When Ugly Is Made Beautiful

You probably already know this Sunday is Easter. It comes around every year about this time, which is the good thing and the bad thing about Easter. The good thing is that it is a regular reminder of the amazing, unfathomable grace of God. It is a good thing that we would be so important to Him that Jesus would die for us. It is a good thing because it is a chance to be shaken out of our day-to-day preoccupations with bills and schedules and shopping and meals and…and…and… It is a good thing that Easter comes around each year about this time.

It is a bad thing that Easter comes around each year about this time. It is bad because we get used to it. We get used to the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection so that we no longer marvel at the grace of God. We get used to the story so that we are no longer shocked by the savagery of the story but instead replace it with warm, fuzzy bunnies and scrumptious chocolate. It is bad because it becomes more about the pageantry of Easter rather than the power of Easter.
One of the things I have long marveled over is Paul’s words in his letter to the church in Ephesus when he reminds them that the “incomparably great power” of God that is at work in followers of Jesus is the same power used to raise Jesus from the dead. The power at work in me (and you) is resurrection power.

Having faced some difficult things in my own life lately, I’m glad Easter has come around about this time of year. I really don’t need a bunny right now, I need incredible hope that comes from realizing that out of horrendous events God showed his indescribable power to make ugly beautiful.

That’s a pretty good description of Easter. Ugly made beautiful. And the overwhelming thing is God is waiting to make ugly beautiful over and over again in our lives each day as we live in resurrection power.

Join us Easter morning to remember this power that makes ugly beautiful, old new, dirty clean, broken whole, hopeless hopeful, dead living.

And my prayer for you? That for you, Easter is a good thing.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pastor David,
I remember when I was little, I begged my mom for a bunny every Easter. Sad to think that that is the hope for children at Easter. Bunnies hop and are fluffy, but Jesus raised and raises others to this day. My point is not to be a pessimist, but to be an optomist. I got older and Easter meant nothing to me ~ till I heard how Jesus was beaten and bruised for me and you. Wait.... you can't do that to God?! God? Did I just say God? Yes, God! Wait, what happened next? Easter. That's what Easter means ~ life and ressurection? Not bunnies? Not chocalate? How can this be?
God's love and grace is so much better than any thing I could have imagined as a child! The power God used to raise Jesus lives in me! Amen! Without the ressurection of Christ, what would our faith be?
Absolutely useless.
Yes, the whole "dead living" thing used to make me weep. What has happened? I feel that I store facts without meditating over them. Probably a defense mechanism.
I guess it can work against you too.
May the Lord open my heart to feel that love consistently and to not just know it......