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Saturday, April 19, 2014

“This changes everything”

I read recently on my cell phone that the use of cell phones and other technology was changing our brains. We are so used to flitting here and there that we have lost the ability to stay focused and read extensively. I think it is true because I found myself unable to finish the article as I scanned for other stories. The irony was not lost on me. It is just so busy all the time and we are all so tired and exhausted it is hard to focus.

In our hyperbolic world where every player is called “a star” and a ham sandwich with chips tastes “awesome” it is our tendency to overstate the significance of most events.
In 2001 I recall a news report on some ghastly event, which had already been declared the “crime of the century.” Obviously, as I have forgotten already what it was, the reporters might have overstated the case.
A few years ago we were promised the advent of a new machine which was going to change the world. I remember being sort of excited by the speculation about what was going to be unveiled. Perhaps an alternative to fuel? Some thought that there might have been a quantum leap in medical care or something equally sublime. Finally the big day arrived and there it was: the Segway Scooter. It seems to be preferred by mall cops and downtown touring agencies. A convenience for those who do not like to walk, but hardly worthy of the hype.

What is worthy of the hype?
The history of salvation is the key element of our vigil. In a more perfect world, at least more perfect for a liturgical Christian, we would have gathered tonight to stay awake and ponder the Sacred texts until morning. We have only a few of the important stories tonight, but what if we could prayerfully read, discuss and pray over one after another: Creation, Adam&Eve, Fall, Cain&Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Saul, David, the temple, Kings, Prophets, Civil War, the destruction of Israel, the destruction of Judah, the Exile, the Return, Ezra and Nehemiah, Maccabees… and baby Jesus
Each component of the story is a microcosm of the great story of the God in covenant with His people. The God of wrath and mercy. The God of love and forgiveness, Who calls us home. The problem is for over busy people with overstimulated brains, who totter around half awake and are hard pressed to really meditate and be aware of the deeper meaning of things, even something truly awesome and amazing, the resurrection, is incapable of grabbing hold of our attention and transforming our mindset. In fact, the words "He is risen Alleluia! can be a challenge for even a faithful believer to fully embrace."

Yet, the life of Jesus encapsulates the story of the Jews and by extension our own story. He is Messiah King and Lord. In His flesh they find their true meaning and we find ours. In His flesh God finds a venue to come among us and deliver us from sin and death. Those are mind blowing facts which we would do well to ponder, meditate and think on for a long time...

The resurrection of Jesus really does change everything. Even if it seems the world is the same, the context is different. Even the worst of it, has been taken into the heart of God. Even sin and death, the worst our world has to offer, are defeated. Jesus has changed everything.

And because of that our lives are new:
He who died and risen has walked among us and given us a task.
Love one another
Believe in God, Believe in Me.
Serve as I have served
Be not afraid.
Make my joy in you be complete.
And because He left the tomb we can trust and obey Him.
That is not hype. He really has changed everything.

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