We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.... Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15) of the resurrection. Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
We will not all die; well, Paul may have taken Jesus' words a bit too literally, as he lived in the belief that Jesus would return in his (Paul's) lifetime and take all the believers to live
eternal life with Him. We have the benefit of looking back--historical perspective. Jesus spoke in beautiful parables and amazing metaphors. But Jesus lived in fact and in perfect deed. Thus, even though we will all die, it is also the truth that we will all be changed. And while, right now, we do not know what we will become, we know that, in eternity, we will be like Jesus.
We need not wait until death to undergo this change. We should not wait until death. Jesus offers us life, and life abundant, right here and right now. For our centering video--the video we use right before the message to help us to be focused--this week (Easter Sunday) we will watch and listen as MercyMe reminds us that the cross has made us "Flawless." Flawless; our faults, our sins, our weaknesses and our addictions rendered powerless over us in this lifetime. While we are, yet, alive. We need not wait until we die; we are called, like Lazarus from the tomb, to live. To live.
Foolishly, they thought they could cripple Jesus' ministry; foolishly, they thought they could keep the people from listening. Foolishly, they thought they could kill Him; foolishly, they thought the tomb, and the heavy rock rolled to its opening, could contain Him. But, even so, the Romans posted guards at the tomb; was it to keep Jesus in, or to keep others out? An angel appeared; unlike the angel who appeared to the Shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth, this angel did not greet them with the words "Fear not." An angel appeared before the Roman guards and they became "like dead men." The guards became like dead men. In the presence of the life-giving Savior, those who refused to believe became "like dead men."
Today, too many people live "like dead men." What a powerful message we have to share! What an amazing time and place we have--today, this moment, right where we live and work and play--to share that message! HE LIVES! And because He lives, we need never again live without change. We must never live like dead men Jesus came that we may have life, and have it abundantly. Spread the word. Come alive!
It is a joy and an honor to work and to walk beside you--each and all--as we reach out to a community in need of the love of Jesus. I am humbled by your gifts and
graces, and pray that, together, we may faithfully serve the one cause that really matters.
We Can Hope (even in the darkest of times).