Yesterday was our Easter Sunday service on the brow at Signal Mountain. Here’s an excerpt from the end of my short message. It’s title was rise, and mostly consisted of a working-through of 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, 50-58 and our freedom from sin, death, evil/devil – and referencing the lyrics of “Because He Lives (sung at the service).
There is a name for rising up to this kind of life: FREEDOM. The glorious freedom of the children of God who know the mystery of faith: that Christ Jesus died, that Christ is risen, that Christ will come again.
This life is worth everything because he lives.
Some days I am standing near this road, waiting at the bus stop with my daughters – and I see the sun come up. Some days on my way to church, early in the morning, I will drive over here, stand on this wall, and look to the east – and watch a new day dawn over this city and community.
And as the sun rises, I see everything else – this whole valley spread before us. And I am reminded of the great quote by CS Lewis who said “I believe in the risen Christ like I believe in the sun – not because I can look at him directly, but because by his light I see everything else.”
And then I get to work. And I remember vs. 58 – the verse Paul uses to end this section. We work as fathers or mothers, husbands or wives, students or teachers, business or home, friends and family. And we work hard serving Jesus in His new creation, but we don’t carry the load. As Paul says – we give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord because we know that our labor isn’t in vain. We’re not trying to receive God’s grace as if we can earn it – other way around! We’ve received the grace of the risen Jesus so that we can get to work! This life matters in every exquisite detail.
We are working in the light of day because the Son us up, because Jesus the Son has lived, died, risen, and is coming again, and by His light we see everything. That’s what it means to rise up. That’s what it means to be part of God’s uprising in our little corner of the world. People are dying to see a life that rises up in freedom because the Past is forgiven, the Present is lived with no fear, and the Future is secure. I don’t just want to buried with my feet facing the East – I want to live facing Jesus, rising up because of the new life he has planted in my heart by faith.