Good morning. So you may have opened up social media today to a flood of Jesus posts this morning. Crosses, “He is Risen”, bloody crowns, & bible verses will fill your screen between all the awkward family photos & pics with kids in restrictive church clothes hunting Easter eggs. And while you might like the flood of happy kid’s sugared up faces, you may not like the crucifixion overload so much.
Maybe it is because you don’t know this man on the cross you keep seeing and you can’t imagine him as a savior of the world. What does that even mean anyways? All this Christian lingo is blowing up a Resurrection Sunday ready to convert you, yet you can’t begin to decipher it. How do stuffed bunnies & a crown of thorns even share a same day? Or maybe it’s because you know him, but you have turned from him. You know very well that by his stripes you were healed, and now you are filled with shame or guilt as you pull farther away from him. Or maybe it is because you just don’t believe there is a God, you choose to not practice a religion, or you just don’t have a faith in this God & his son’s rising after his death that is being celebrated today.
I’m not sure where all my friends are in their faith or lack thereof, it’s not something that I have talked about with everyone, although I do wish I have. Not too long ago I was in the hospital repeatedly and extremely sick and on a lot of medications. 8 to be exact. I was sent home only to go back again to the ER recently. When in the ER, the doctor pushed another 8 medications that were contraindicated and terribly interacted together in ways that put my body into shock. I spent weeks recovering and withdrawing from medications. I am now medication free & feel better than I have in 7 months. These same medication interactions have been fatal in other patients with my health history. So, needless to say, this experience has had me thinking.
I know where I am going on the day that I go to heaven a hundred years from now. I know where my husband and children will go. I know this because we have all believed and received Christ. This same Christ that you’ll see or hear about being celebrated today is our Lord. And I would do you a disservice if I didn’t tell you something about him while I still have breath in me.
I have seen many of my friends, clients, and those reading along here grow a baby in their womb. I have been a doula (birth coach) for 14 years & have even delivered many babies as a midwifery student. In homes, hospitals, cars, & nearly the Lowes parking lot (love you Lily). In fact I have likely seen more of your vaginas & been elbow deep in your more of your bodily fluids more than I have even been to other friends BBQs. Yes, this is still an Easter post.
My point is I have seen many of you grow a tiny human, push it out your amazing body, and bring a baby into the world. I have heard these babies take their first breaths. Scream their first scream. Poo their first poo, usually on me, ironically. I have seen your children born sleeping, gone too soon. I have seen you experience great loss & also great great joy. I have seen you try to get pregnant, struggle, & feel like each month is an agonizing test in patience. I have seen you do great & brave things as a parent, or dream you will one day do so. I have seen you cry when it was hard & breathe relief when it was over. I have seen you nurse your baby through bloody nipples & encourage a toddler to eat greens. I have seen you give life & sustain life.
I have seen you have faith, maybe even when you didn’t know it. You believed from the moment you saw 2 Pink Lines or got the news that you were expecting, that a child was growing in you. You believed you could grow a baby, one that you could not see for 9 months. Actually 10 months is statistically more common & what I fight for. You took care of your heart, your mind, your body & the pickles in the fridge. You believed that around your due date that your body would know how to birth your child. And you did. You did it. Because of your faith. You knew what to expect when expecting because others had done it, and you believed. You had faith for something hoped for, and evidence of things unseen. That’s what the Bible says is faith.
Today I want you to consider, maybe if you never have for the first time, that this ‘Historical figure’, Jesus, son of Mary, may just have the same miracle birth story that you did. Mary may have had no idea what was going on inside her, but she had faith. Consider for a moment that this baby Jesus she birthed, in a stable like rockstar, grew up just like our boys do. Maybe she struggled with fear, perfection, & baking the best bread for her boy. But she knew something that would flatten us as moms. She knew her boy was the son of God, as an angel had told her, & she knew he had a purpose. This boy became a man, a teacher as the story goes, who had a purpose to reach people with hope & salvation. Centuries of people say that he had so much hope and healing to bring that he laid down his life for others by dying on a cross. It is said that he was willing to take our sins, our debts, our pain to that cross. And so he did. After being beaten, and hung on a cross, he was put in a grave & the stone was rolled shut. Most scientist & historians, not just theologians, believe Jesus was real & his family lineage carried on. They don’t discount or dispute the facts. They’ll actually confirm stories from the Bible with historical sites today. But today I want to talk not just about the man who was real back then, but that man who died to become a savior for you today.
Cadbury chocolate egg break! See, it’s absurd we hunt colored eggs when there is so much more to talk about today? If the life story of Jesus seems unbelievable, the plot thickens even more. On the 3rd day, today, it was discovered Jesus was no longer in the tomb. Mary Magdalene saw this & went to tell the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” She told them everything Jesus said to her when he reached out to her at the tomb. Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands where the nails had been & even told doubting Thomas to push his finger through the hole in his side where he had been speared. The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, believed. Jesus left the disciples with the Holy Spirit to stay on earth, as a guide, a comforter, as he said he was going to be in heaven with the Father. He said he would be coming back & repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
So here I am, just a messenger, because he sent me. I’ve been blessed to have known this story of Jesus since I was a child as I heard this story passed down from generations & went to a Christian middle school that spurred my own study of God. But even more of a blessing is the fact that I’ve been able to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, accept Jesus into my heart, pray a prayer of salvation, be baptized & see the greatness of God all in my short life. What does that fancy talk mean? I’ve seen miracles happen right before my eyes. I’ve felt goosebumps and healing from head to toe. I seen a baby go from blue to pink. I’ve seen a bank account go from zero to thousands. I’ve sought direction and found it. I’ve been drowning in sin, grief, and pain, and then felt my feet be put on solid rock where I have peace that passes all understanding. I have a blessed assurance that I believe only comes from Faith.
Can you have all this without Jesus or God? Yes. You can. But you can’t have eternal life or be saved from hell without Jesus. The Bible says he is the way, the truth , the life, and that nobody can come to God, the Father, except through him. If you are struggling with your faith or believing this whole story of Jesus as truth, I want you to remember you story. Think about where you came from, how you grew up, what your passions are, what you have accomplished, what miracles you have seen, and how beautiful you are. And if you are one of my friends thatI have helped bring a baby into the world with, please think about that beautiful pregnancy & birth. After all those months of pregnancy, all that faith, you delivered that baby, even through pain. I know you felt something. I saw it as you met your child. You felt : True Love. You loved a life you just met. You were inseparable. Birth is amazing…The chemistry, how it all works. But nothing compares to that moment when you felt your faith become love.
Just like you have enough faith to try to conceive or bring a baby into the world, today can be a day to have enough faith to birth a new part of your life where you accept that Jesus is real. To accept that he is not dead. To accept that he is our savior. To believe that the bible is part history, part love story. To believe that he wants you to trust, even through pain, that he brings life, & life more abundantly. What do you have to lose to have faith?
I’m not saying it will be easy to begin to believe in someone you haven’t met or looked around for in a while. Even the disciples, who knew him, locked the door after he rose from the grave & came to them. Thomas even had to see with his own eyes the scars on his hands! I had to see it to believe it too, I had to feel his presence in good times & in bad to know he never leaves or fails me. But I had to ask for it, I had to reach out to him & you will have to too.
Today is a good day, while Christians all over the world are celebrating, for you to bow your head & pray.
Lord, I want to seek you.
Lord, I want to know you.
Lord, I want to feel you more.
That’s it. It’s that easy for you to ask God to begin to move in your life. I believe he will start to reveal himself to you, and you will begin to feel the Holy Spirit. It’ll come in the quiet moments at first, when you are willing to be open to him show you things & speak to you.
I believe you are a miracle, as is your family. I have known many of you for years, sadly without telling you that I’m here to tell you about Jesus. But sharing my faith has to be more that just posting prompted Christmas or Easter pics. I was a broken person that was made whole by a love story. You can contact me anytime so we can talk more. I can tell my story and his story. Jesus is my first love. I want you to meet him. Not the Easter bunny.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;’ ”
#resurrectionsunday #jesus #faith