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Apr 15 2011

Happy Re-Birthday

The Hope of EasterBirthday parties are great. We celebrate that we were born. I still remember my fifth birthday party. It had to be special. I felt that five was a major milestone. That’s when you start school and I couldn’t wait. For the party, my brother and our friends were transported all the way to Raleigh (from Durham) to visit a TV station and sit in the studio for the filming of our favorite TV show, Happy, the Toy Soldier. I still remember Happy waking from his inanimate slumber in his standing shelter and marching out to greet us.

Birthday parties have a diminishing appeal as the years go by. We like the recognition, but we don’t like so much what they signify. We’re not so anxious to make it to the next milestone.

But, we can get excited about celebrating our second birth. If birthday parties are great, how much more, resurrection parties. “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” Then Jesus called his friend Lazarus out of his tomb to live again. But Lazarus was resurrected, only to re-enter the cycle of decay and die again. Through Christ, we will be resurrected to new life in which there is no more decay or death. No more sorrow or tears.

That’s the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is our hope, even when we see bad news and decay all around us. In fact, the more desperate our circumstances, the more we take hope in the resurrection. Our suffering is only short-term. The Old Testament patriarch, Job, after experiencing unimaginable loss, took hope as he focused his thoughts to the resurrection.

I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me! – Job 19:25-27

Take hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the hope that empowers us today.

City MinistriesIf you’re in the Petaluma area, we invite you to worship with us, especially during Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Secret Church), Good Friday – with City Ministries Churches – and, the climax, Easter – Resurrection Sunday at FPCP. For details go here.