Easter has been hijacked - don't you think? I spent all day today up in Washington, DC to participate in the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll. You can read about it on my blog if you're interested, but while it was a cool experience and fun for the kids, and a great day as a family, I can't help but feel weary that Easter just isn't what it really should be.
Easter is about Jesus coming back to life. And while I don't really know what the "right way" to commerate this event would be, I do know that eggs and bunnies and pretty dresses just doesn't even come close, does it?
Our pastor spoke about faith, and about Thomas yesterday. I think no matter where we are, we could use more faith. I know I could. And I also know that I can identify with Thomas. When he heard about the resurrection, Thomas said, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hands into his side, I will not believe it." And a week later Jesus showed up and gave Thomas a chance to believe. How gracious of him!
Jesus goes on to say "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Most of us accept the fact of Jesus' resurrection. But we weren't there. We didn't watch Jesus get tortured and hung on a cross. We didn't watch the blood drip down his arms and into the dusty ground. We didn't see his dead body laid in a tomb. Thomas thought it was all over. That the journey he had been on was now over.
Then Jesus shows back up and proves to Thomas, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is very much alive.
He had mercy on Thomas, and he has mercy on us, because Jesus knows our weaknesses. He knows that we struggle to believe what we cannot see. To have faith in God that no matter what things look like around us, that He is still in control. To believe that something that looks dead, can be given life.
What if I told you that in other countries, there are those that say they have seen people, regular people, brought back from the dead? Would you believe it? If you're like me, we have some hesitation. We wonder if that's really possible. We think that we would believe it if we could see it for ourselves. We'd like to believe that it is possible, but we're just not sure. I've never seen anyone raised from the dead. Have you? I believe God CAN do it, but do I belive that he DOES do it? You see, that's not quite the same thing, is it?
I think we've forgotten how to believe in miracles here in America. We have so many other things to put our faith into - into our money, into doctors, into education, into ourselves. We don't know how to really put our faith in a God who can accomplish the impossible. A God who delights in showing what He is really capable of. He understands out doubts, he has mercy on our weakness, but he is calling us all to a greater faith in who he is. He's calling us to believe him MORE. To trust Him MORE. To believe that the impossible is possible. That dead things can come back to life. That faith is not a passive thing. It is an active way of living. Faith is not just thinking that God could do something, but it is knowing that he is actively at work in the world around us. He's calling us to a faith that is active and real as well.
This Easter, I hear him calling me. Do you hear him, too?