Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What it's like to live again: Resurrection Reflections

 I wasn't a Lent Christian growing up. We were pentecostals and we didn't practice such traditions. Lent was seen as to Catholic and to ritualistic. Not that we had any objection to extended periods of prayer and fasting, but the penitence part was to "legalistic" and it was thought that it was to "dependent upon our own ability to be saved."

As long as I have observed Lent, I've never been to keen on the penitence aspect and this year was no  difference. In fact I struggled to keep my Lenten fast in so many ways. At first this really upset me, it depressed me and made me feel inadequate, but then my friend and fellow pastor Coy Remer said, "Well then you're doing it right!" I thought about that and came to the conclusion that Lent is about us humans fixating on our humanity, frailty and fallen nature. Instead of penitence we ought to focus on our propensity for sin and our inability to do absolutely nothing about it! What better way to do that than to see myself fail in my attempt to please God on my own?

This Lent, do to many personal issues, has been one of the darkest Lents of all time for me and because of this I AM SO READY FOR EASTER! This Lent I have come to the conclusion that Christ is absolutely my righteousness and holiness. Without Christ I am dead.

This Easter seems like such a gift. I reminder that because Christ lives, so shall I also live. I suppose as a pastor I should have a pretty good grasp on the last two idea's, i.e Christ as my righteousness and having eternal life through Christ, but like anything the profundity of this truth can get lost in the everyday hassle of life and can become common place especially as a pastor. This Easter I'm taking it all in, this Easter I'm gonna latch on to this idea of life, freedom, and forgiveness in Christ and truly enjoy what it's like to live again! I invite you to do the same.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

In Christ,


  1. I had a similar aha moment in Seminary when I was at Asbury in a class with Stephen Martyn (wonderful, holy man...). This is an excerpt of what I wrote in my "Rule of Life paper in that class. I think it might speak to you and what you are experiencing. *******************One last illustration of how this class has influenced my practicing the presence of God happened during Holy Week. For the last few years I have felt a heaviness during Holy Week, especially Thursday and Friday that I just couldn’t put my finger on. It always went away by Easter. People have even asked me “What’s wrong?” and my answer was usually a vague “I dunno, haven’t been getting enough sleep.” This year I read the module on Penthos during Holy Week. I almost jumped out of my chair and yelled, “Eureka, that’s it, THAT’S IT!” I don’t want to sound overly pious, because I’m not even barely pious, but what that vague sense of “something wrong” was really grief and remorse that I caused Jesus to go through such an awful death. Not the Jews, or Judas or Pilate, but me. I wonder how long it would have taken without this module to “Give sorrow words, the grief that does not speak whispers to the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” As Dr Martyn said:
    For us, therefore, Penthos is the God given desire not only to acknowledge our own proclivity toward sin, but it is a deep sorrow over the fallenness and brokenness of our lives and the lives of those around us. It is a continual looking to God for sufficiency and forgiveness and cleansing and healing both for ourselves and for others.
    Now that I am able to recognize my Penthos for what it is, my prayer is that I can channel it in a positive way.

  2. PS I'd love to hear your reviews of the books you are reading. I just love NT Wright's writing. I have many of his books but not that one. I wish that his new book was not so dang expensive. I wish I could afford to get it, but I just can't. *sigh* maybe someday....I really like everything that I have read by Bonhoeffer and Willimon, too. So many books, so little time....*big sigh*