Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Do you hear Christ calling you to a life of meaning and purpose?

…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity… 2 Timothy 1:9

Next week is the week before Easter.  There is something special about Easter Sunday -- something exuberant, something triumphant, something inexpressibly happy.  But the first Easter began on a very different note.

When Mary Magdalene got up before dawn, she awoke with the bitter taste of defeat on her tongue and the pangs of despair in her heart. She opened her eyes on a dark and dreary world, a world without joy, a world without Jesus.  Within an hour things got worse. She arrived at the tomb to pay her respects and found that the grave had been vandalized.

The body of the dear Teacher had been stolen. This was the breaking point. After the tension of the past week, the fear on Friday, the despair on Saturday, Mary had reached her limits.  No wonder Mary Magdalene was beside herself! NO wonder she wept! No wonder she didn't recognize Jesus when He approached her. No wonder she mistook her best Friend for the caretaker of the garden.  And then everything changed. Jesus called Mary by name.

At the sound of that voice, Mary's heart broke with joy and her eyes were opened to the face of Love. To hear her name on those lips was to be touched by Heaven.  Jesus said, "Mary," and the whole world was transformed. That's what made the difference for Mary: to be called by name, to be called by Christ, to be called back to life.

Easter hasn't changed since that day. Easter is still about Christ unexpectedly alive in our midst. Easter is Christ calling us by name. Easter is the Savior calling us to life. Do you feel it? Do you hear your name?

Do you hear Christ calling you to a life of meaning and purpose? 

Did you ever hear of the moth with no mouth?  There really is such a creature. As a caterpillar, this insect lays its eggs and then turns into a moth. The earthbound crawler sheds its old life and takes wing into a new existence, right? Wrong! This poor moth has no mouth, no stomach, no way to eat, so it starves to death in a few hours. Can you imagine anything more pointless? That wretched creature exists only to leave eggs behind, and having done so it runs into a dead end. It goes through the motions of making a cocoon and growing wings, and then it falls over and dies.

Some people feel the same way about their own lives. They feel like they are going through the motions of living. They grow up. They hold down a job and pay off a mortgage. Maybe they get married and bring some kids into the world. With a little luck they live long enough to retire, and then one day they keel over, wondering at the end what was the point of it all.

The Resurrection of Christ is God's solemn promise that life is not "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Jesus calls us to live abundantly, not just to go through the motions.

To what have you given your life? To whom have you committed yourself? In whose service are you yoked? Where have you given your heart?  In answer to those questions, some people can muster only petty pursuits and trivialities. But Christ offers us vastly more!

The Risen Lord gives us a Cause to live for, die for, and live again for! Be still for a moment!
Listen, He is calling YOUR name.

Scripture to Claim:
Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.  Isaiah 41:4’

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