Monday, April 13, 2009

Hero Worship -- First Week of Easter

Heroes, we all want them. The heroic exploits of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, hero of the US Airways flight 1549 has been replaced by the heroic exploits of the U.S. Naval rescue of the brave Captain Richard Phillips from the dastardly pirates of Somalia. We rejoice, in this first week of the Easter celebration with the family of Captain Phillips. It is almost a resurrection from death if you want to turn it into a metaphor of real life. Here was a man, held captive in the hell of his captors, suddenly released by a group of Navy sharpshooters who eliminated his evil jailors. I can see a book and movie deal in the works already. Good for him. And yes, we as Christians, pray for our enemies that this will never happen again.

So our secular society has been given its new inoculation of hero worship. There’s nothing wrong with that. Heroes remind us of the possibilities in life. But the religion of secularism must have its regular inoculations. Unlike true faith in Christ, it must forever have a fix to satisfy the vacuum the religion of self worship requires. For when the secular man or woman sets themselves up as the final arbiter of what is truth, there is a lack of permanent satisfaction. Not just in the need for heroes, but also in just about anything. The secular man is never satisfied. There is never enough money, never enough things, never enough power, never enough drugs, never enough of anything. More and more is required to satisfy the insatiable thirst of a human who chooses to say no to God.

Unfortunately this secular theology has infiltrated the church where we must always have something new to keep us interested in God and fellowship. And so a new theology to match our personal tastes is born every day until we now have over 30,000 denominations arguing back and forth over who has the truth. And most all say, “we are right because the Bible tells us so.”

Well folks, not all can be right. Someone is wrong or else the Holy Spirit is sending mixed messages to Christ’s body. I choose to believe the former and not the latter.
And so the secular world goes on its merry way, laughing at the church or totally ignoring it because it is no different than the rest of the world. We look the same as the secularists. We have set up our reason and intellect over revelation. And so, while we wear Christian clothing, the world knows the emperor has no clothes. We look and sound just like everyone else.

Easter Week forces us to rethink this false gospel. Today is the first day of the first week of Easter. The Easter season is on us. It lasts fifty days from the Holy Saturday Easter vigil until the day of Pentecost when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the church. So what does Easter tell us? Precisely the opposite of what the rest of the world believes.
Easter signals a new beginning. Not just a breaking of the power over death by the resurrection, but the power of grace and hope given to us for everyday. We now no longer need the regular heroic fixes. We have hope and new life to live daily. We were designed by God for God and for our neighbor. As Pascal said, there is a God shaped vacuum within each of us. The reason we need the heroic and narcotic fixes is because we are trying to fill a vacuum that was designed for God alone.

The resurrection of Jesus finally breaks the power of death and gives us power to live. We are given power to do the impossible. The demands of the law and the prophets which we could never satisfy, has now been made possible in Christ. He gives us the ability, the power, the grace to live an impossible life in the most seemingly impossible circumstances. He gives us peace where we can find peace. He gives us hope, in place of a secular godless hopeless end. He gives us a purpose to love our neighbor and lovingly serve the needs of those around us.

Let us celebrate these next fifty days of Easter as a daily reminder that we have a God who has lowered himself to live within us to become our life, our hope and peace. And let us become the physical representation of Christ to those around us who so desperately need his love.

3 comments:

  1. Rich,
    Beautiful post...full of encouragement to remind us that we daily walk-on, every day, every hour of the year remembering, rejoicing, celebrating what Jesus has/is doing for/in/with/through us. HE is my hero!

    Blessings,
    ~Amy :)

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  2. Amy, Your comments are always appreciated. Jesus is so present with us. He loves us so much and his resurrection reminds us through so many ways just how much he is head over heals in love with us..
    Thanks again dear friend.
    Rich

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  3. Yes, it is such a scandal that we would dislike, disapprove, and sometimes even hate one another. We are not in heaven yet.

    That's why my few blogs I read are all from people (and mostly readers) who can sometimes share their differences in peace, but also celebrate their true common bond in Christ Jesus (like you!).

    Thanks for the heads up on the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Mercy and true forgiveness confounds the world. If I had to pick out the top 20 news events of my time that are still vivid and meaningful to me, one would be the Mennonite parents going to the killer of their children and forgiving him. The other is the picture of John Paul II talking to the man who shot him in a prison hallway, and seeking reconciliation with him.

    Both so astounding. Both so like Christ.

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