Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Resurrection & New Life: Approaching New Life

Image found at:  http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/st-edwards-stained-glass-window-recalls-resurrection-1428418.html

Starting today I want to focus on the Easter experience.  For those who might not be sure what that means...I want to focus on what it means to have new life.  Do you have a story or reflection on what it means to have new life in Christ?  Please email or comment below so that I can publish your reflections during the season of Eastertide (Apr. 8 - May 26)

Scripture today:  John 12:20-36 (CEB)

I want to focus, especially upon this part of the scripture:

Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One[a] to be glorified. 24 I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me. 27 “Now I am deeply troubled.[b] What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. 28 Father, glorify your name!” 
As most of my readers probably know, by now, I have been re-appointed to First United Methodist Church in Normal.  In case you aren't familiar with the United Methodist Church, it works like this:  Each year I am told whether I will be staying at the church where I am appointed or whether I will move.

Finding out that I was moving was a strange situation because everyone at my current church is naturally curious about where I am going (and when) and people naturally expect for me to be excited, but on the other hand I am leaving behind a community of people who I care about.  I think about Christ, in this regard.  I think about how mixed up Jesus and those who believed must have felt as they approached the cross.  It must have been exciting for Him to go on to God's glory and yet heading toward one's own death and suffering just simply isn't!  As Christ moves toward the Easter experience, toward being killed, he admits that there is real trouble upon his soul.  He says, "What Am I supposed to do,"  "Should I want this or not?"  When you read this passage you can feel Jesus' mixed emotions about what lay before.

We will come to many moments like this in our lives.  We will all have times where we wonder about the road ahead.  For me, I must worry about how I will work with a new church and if you think I look forward to packing boxes, then, think again!  Yet, I face the packing because it is what I must endure in order to experience a new life.  I must let go of relationships and people who I hold dear in this Pontiac-life, so that I can experience the new life (the Normal-life?).  God seldom calls us to turn away or to turn back, you see.  God calls us to walk forward and step out in new ministry.  As we prepare for Easter we must ask ourselves, "What is God calling me to do," or maybe:  "Is God calling me to a new life this Easter (to do something new)?"

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