Life is for Living Every Day

Celebrating Faith, Family, Love, Laughter


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He is not here; He has risen!

 

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.”
Luke 24: 1-8 (NIV)

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Imagine going to the funeral of a dear relative or friend. You watch them lower the casket into the ground. You say goodbye through your tears. The next day you go to put some additional flowers on the gravesite and to reflect quietly on your own. As you approach you can see something is terribly wrong. Wreaths are scattered all over the place and freshly turned soil is everywhere. There is a big hole in the ground. You hold your hand over your heart to keep it from jumping out of your chest as you venture nearer and look down.  There is nothing there.  No coffin, no body, nothing. What would you do?

I have no idea what I would do.  For sure I would not be able to sleep at night for a very long time so imagine if I had been the one to go to Jesus’ tomb with the women … and as for seeing two men in gleaming clothes too? I done faint away and pass out aka bring on the smelling salts.

But I hold these particular verses very dear especially on those days when things are tough; when everything goes wrong and what should have been right is still wrong. Those are the times when I reach out to take hold of Luke 24:1-8 and tell myself: “Girl, Jesus is risen! He conquered death and is alive so hello? He’s got your back!”

So how do we move out of the dark shadow of the wilderness into the light? How do we make it from today to tomorrow without having that nervous breakdown or out-of-body experience? Well for starters, we refuse to let the devil keep us suffocated under the details of daily living. We refuse to let him make us forget that Jesus is not dead but very much among us. We strongly grab on to our rope of faith and hold on tight, tight, tight. We continue to look for the signs that show how much God loves us; things like a beautiful blue sky or wonderful yellow flower. But most of all, we do not ever – ever, ever, ever – look for the living among the dead.

Happy Easter! May God continue to bless us all, now and forever. Amen.

 

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” ~ Basil Hume

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” ~ Pope John Paul II

 


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You Also Are One Of Them

 

“Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.  A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.”

Luke 22:54-62 (NIV)

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I live at the end of a cul-de-sac. The road leading to my home is pretty narrow so when my neighbors park in front of their houses the road gets even narrower. I have good neighbors. They are pleasant, will say hi and hello, and generally look out for you. So when I associate you with common decency and good manners, and someone coming to visit you parks adjacent to another car or blocks my gate or leaves their car in the middle of the road I am surprised. Why? Because if you as my neighbor go out of your way to be considerate, then I assume that your friends or associates will be considerate as well even if just by nature of association.

This thinking is not as far-fetched as it may sound at first. Remember what our mothers always told us: “You are known by the friends you keep.” Associate with alcoholics, people assume you drink. Associate with drug addicts, people assume you are a crack head. Associate with positive, career driven professionals, people assume you are goal oriented and on your way to being a successful contributor to your society.

I said all of the above to say that Peter’s denial of Jesus had many different facets. It was not only about Jesus’ foretelling of the future or of Peter’s pain after the fact. It was also about association, as evidenced by the accusation: “You also are one of them.” By extension, it was also about the price we may pay for said association … and we all know that Peter was unwilling to pay the price he knew Jesus was about to pay; hence his denial.

As we move through this Holy Week I encourage you to stand tall and be a witness to our Lord and savior. He died for us and He is coming again – those are the facts we cling to, associate with and can never deny. As a result we will not let Jesus turn and look straight at us or weep bitterly like Peter, crowing rooster or no crowing rooster.

Do I hear an Amen?

 


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She lives!

I never get tired of hearing the story. Of friends grieving for their loved one, going to the tomb to perform one more demonstration of love, only to find the body they are looking for is gone.

I think of my mom and how I would feel if her body was missing. Who had stolen it? Where was security? Did no-one see who had done this terrible crime? If we never found her what kind of service would we have at church? How would I find closure?

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