Easter Monday, April 13, 2020
I hope everyone had a fun and meaningful, albeit unique Holy Week. In the Gaudinier home, we finished our resurrection eggs, ate a fancy breakfast, and had a harrowing indoor egg hunt due to rain. It was strange not seeing everybody and being with extended family. We have celebrated the fact that Jesus is alive. The question that naturally follows is “Now what?”.
I am sure those early disciples asked the same questions as they gathered to pray in that upper room. In Luke’s sequel to his Gospel, the book of Acts, He records that Jesus came to the disciples with a promise and purpose. Jesus promised them that they would be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. He also gave them a purpose for remaining in their current challenging context.
I remember when my son Kendrick gave his life to Christ as a 4-year-old boy. I’ll never forget it. We were laying in his bed at bedtime and he had a million questions and eventually asked if he could receive Jesus as his Lord. After we prayed together, Kendrick turned to me and said, “Dad am I going to die now and be with Jesus?” I guess the talk of eternal destination landed more solidly than the talk of eternal purpose. Needless to say,we had a little more discussion about our reason for remaining here.
Christ came to redeem not just a handful of people. He came to redeem all of the creation. This is that exact verbiage that Jesus uses in the most commonly memorized Bible verse, John 3:16.- “For God so loved the cosmon.” It is the Greek word from which we get cosmos meaning the entirety of the universe. The Apostle Paul reflects this in his letter to the church in Rome when he writes:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:19-23)
Think of it! We get to partner with Christ in the redemption of all of creation. If you’re feeling less excited and more overwhelmed by this thought remember that we are partnering with the God who made it all from nothing. It is His power not ours. Paul writes earlier, “The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is living in you.” Christ has called us to be vessels of resurrection life for the redemption of all of creation. We have simply to say yes to His call and live by the Spirit in each moment as children of God. As we wait with quieted hearts for God to speak to us, we receive more specifically how His purpose and power are to manifest in our individual lives. Then we can truly make the world a better place in very practical (sometime not-so-practical) ways because the resurrection power of Jesus Christ is alive in us!