Thursday, April 10, 2014

Do you hear Christ calling you to a life of hope?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… 1 Peter 1:3

We continue today from yesterday, talking about how Christ has called us all by name for a life of meaningful purpose, a life of hope, and a life of new possibilities!
A popular tourist attraction in Vietnam is a visit to the Royal Tombs.  There are old women who give guided tours through those tombs. They light candles before the various exhibits to show the visitor the nooks and crannies of the tombs. When the day is done and the tourists gave gone home, the guides put out the candles and they go to bed in the tombs. That's where they live -- in the tombs. That's where they pass their days and spend their nights -- in the tombs.
And many of us do the same. We live (if you can call it living!) as if life was a dead end and the world was our tomb. We plod through our daily routine as if the Cross were the last word on Jesus. We worry and fret over petty matters as if Christ had not conquered death. We allow ourselves to be manipulated by the fallen powers of this world as if the Risen Lord does not rule the Universe. We carry on our dreary business as usual, trudging deeper and deeper into the rut, as if the Firstborn from the dead were not the beginning of a whole new order of creation.

The "Peace" rose is probably the most popular rose in the world. In 1939 a French rose-grower named Meilland found one single seed among his hybrids, and that solitary seed grew into the beautiful Peace rose. Peace roses are grown all over the world today, and every one of them came from that single, unique, one-of-a-kind seed.

Jesus Christ is our first-fruits. From the seed of Christ's Resurrection will come the eternal harvest of every Christian. His Resurrection is the root of our own. His life is the Source of our life. His victory is the assurance of our victory. His promise is our hope.  Do you hear your name being called?

Do you hear Christ calling you to a life of new possibilities?
The New Testament often talks about the need for change: Repent!  We tend to think that repentance is simply sorrow over our mistakes, but the Greek word which is translated "repentance" in most English Bibles literally means "a change of mind, a transformation of one's thinking."

Change begins with our own hunger for new possibilities, and that desire for change finds its fulfillment in the power unleashed through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

At times we may feel entombed by our circumstances: the report from the doctor isn't encouraging; the money didn't come through; my job is going nowhere; this relationship is a mess, and I don't know how to fix it; why can't I get my eating or my drinking under control? These pressures and deadlines are killing me. Nobody understands me.

If God could raise Jesus from the grave, then God can free us from the tomb of our limitations and constraints.  If God could roll away the stone that sealed Jesus in the grave, then God can roll away the stumbling stones that litter our path.  If God could shatter the chains of Death, then God can surely strike off every fetter that keeps us from living fully and abundantly.  If God could open up eternal possibilities for a Crucified Man lying in a borrowed tomb, then God can surely open up a new course for you and me!

Christ is calling you today, calling you by name. Christ is calling you to life: a life of hope, a life of meaning, a life of new possibilities, a life of joy, a life of commitment. Christ is calling you to a Resurrection life. Don't miss it! Don't sleep through it! It's Easter! Christ has risen, and so should you! So should we all!

Scripture to Claim:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  John 10:10

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