Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20.
“Things are not always what they seem. The first appearance deceives many.” ~ Phaedrus
Has there ever been a more welcome spring than this one? Even I—of pajama days by the fireplace fame—have begun to crave the colors and the warmer days that arrive with April. Seasons do change, and despite the fact that we have seen spring many times before, it is always fresh and always a reminder of God’s faithfulness, his permanence, and his unmatched creative power. He is God, and there is no other.
Easter is something like an exclamation point, a dramatic story with the biggest surprise ending of all time. Jesus was nailed to the cross, but not before He was whipped, beaten, humiliated before the throng of onlookers, and forced to carry that onerous burden on his bruised and battered shoulders to the place of his crucifixion. He died. His friends scattered. And He was alone in a way none of us on the worst of the worst days will ever be. On that grim Friday afternoon, it was clear that the young Jewish rabbi whom many had thought to be the long awaited Messiah had failed miserably. Or so it seemed.
We Believers repeat the Apostle’s Creed by rote so often that we can drone the familiar words, “On the third day He arose from the dead…” without really thinking about how extraordinary such a thing was. The Resurrection did not just change the conclusion of the gospel narrative, but it changed the ending of our personal stories as well.
To quote the words from the song “The Power of the Cross” by Townsend and Getty, “Death is crushed to death. Life is mine to live.” Regardless of human schemes or regimes, I am confident that God will always have the last word.
I am just back from a week with my three Denver grandchildren. They are nine, seven, and five, and it had been seven months since I had last seen them. We picked up right where we left off, and I found myself taking nothing for granted in the minutes, hours, and days that I got to spend with them. I had a heightened awareness of our very special connection, and I took note of every unique nuance that makes them who they are. I am sure the Holy Spirit was whispering, “Pay attention and remember this. There is more happening here than packing lunches and getting children to school on time.”
I believe there are two kinds of sight we all have—the kind that sees the material world of the moment and the kind that sees with the eyes of the soul. Those “soul eyes” know in a way that defies easy explanation that there is a very real world that is deeper, wider, and more permanent than what is before us in the present.
Those “soul eyes” require some listening outside the realm of the regular noise that fills the routine of every day. But those eyes—some call them the eyes of faith—have a way of casting a different meaning on the simple tasks we repeat day after regular day.
Meaningful and Redemptive—that’s exactly what those tasks are. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is meaningless. Call it an Easter mindset.
Hold that thought as you read this issue. We have featured several who share that train of thought. There is a vertical relationship in every vocation. Those who recognize it are doubly blessed. Jason Walton, Damien Cavicchi, Sarah Abraham. Read their stories. The joy of work that God has called us to—well, there is nothing like it. You could say that missionaries come in all shapes, sizes, and are found in every place here and far. The joy of knowing that the Gospel is part of an everyday calling is the great here-and-now dividend of knowing Jesus Christ.
As French Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not just physical bodies having a spiritual experience. Rather, we are spiritual bodies having a physical experience.”
Happy Easter. Celebrate new beginnings, the change of the seasons, and the overflowing abundant blessings that are ours because of the Resurrection of our precious Savior Jesus Christ.
Hallelujah! He is Risen!