WEEK 4: MARCH 20-26
Raised for Hope
Jesus seems to have arrived too late to help his friend Lazarus and the despair of the witnesses is palpable in this story from the Gospel of John. In a state of hopelessness, Jesus brings the hope of Resurrection, the hope of eternal life, of that which can never be taken away. How does the hope of Resurrection encourage you? This week hear from some of our members who have found hope that surpasses illness, difficult circumstances, and hope that drastically changes who we are as Christians.
Do You Think Jesus Wore Air Jordan’s?
By Rev. John Wayne McMann
When I was in middle school I got a fancy new pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes. These shoes were incredible and I think I heard somewhere that they could make me jump higher and run faster. It was not often that my mother would allow me to get the newest and best model for anything but for whatever reason she was very generous to me at school shopping time that year. Here is the thing, I loved my shoes so much I did not want to wear them and mess them up! So I have these fancy Michael Jordan Nike shoes, and all I wanted to do was look at them. Eventually, I got over it and actually benefited from the shoes by wearing them. Silly story, but I think we sometimes do something similar in our Christian walk…we keep wearing the old shoes.
As Christians, we believe that we have been raised to life in Christ which means there is a promise of a new transformed life for us right now. In our story with Lazarus there is a beautiful moment when Christ tells the dead man to be alive again. Then Jesus tells his friend to “take off your grave clothes.” The John Wayne International Version of the story goes something like this:
Jesus: Lazarus, what are you wearing?
Lazarus: I don’t know…I was dead, I didn’t dress myself.
Jesus: Those clothes are no good here…try some air Jordan’s.
Ok, something like that, right? Listen, I am guilty of this and I think we all are to some extent. Sometimes we forget that Christ has raised us from death to life and we need to stop carrying around the grave clothes. Stop obsessing over your past mistakes, stop living the life you had before….you have been bought at a cost, stop undervaluing how incredible you are to God, STOP. Let’s walk forward into life—Jesus has done the Resurrecting part, and it is up to us to walk out of the tomb.
How can you live into the Resurrection today?
What does the transformed life look like to you?