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Monday, October 03, 2011

Happy Endings!

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[October 03, 2011]   --

The teacher was extremely enthusiastic. She looked at the class of four-year-olds and asked this question: “Does anyone know what today is?” A little girl held up her hand and said, “Yes, today is Palm Sunday.” The teacher said, “That’s fantastic. That’s wonderful. Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?” The same little girl raised her hand again and said, “Yes, next Sunday is Easter!” Once again the teacher said, “That’s wonderful. Very good! Now, does anyone know what makes next Sunday special?” Once again the little girl raised her hand and answered, “Yes, next Sunday is Easter because Jesus rose from the grave.” Before the teacher could congratulate her, she kept on talking and said, “But if he sees his shadow, he has to go back in for six more weeks!”

Here we are, once again, on the edge of the greatest holiday this country, or world for that matter, has ever celebrated. We call it, “Easter.” For those of us who call ourselves Christians, we know that this day gives us more reasons to celebrate than any other event in history. We come from a country with a long list of great historical events, however, none as great as the day we rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have always been very proud to call myself an American; this is a great country. But I’m even more excited to call myself a “Christian.”

The rest of the world religions worship and pay homage to someone who is dead. I’ve seen their tombs and graves and TV specials. But when we look at the grave of Jesus, it’s empty. He’s alive and that message, 2000 years later, still has the power to shake our world. More than that ever, it still has the power to shake my world too.

Young Jonathon, who had been promised a new little puppy for his birthday, had a tough time choosing one from the dozen likely candidates at the neighborhood pet shop. Finally, he decided on one nondescript shaggy pup that was wagging his tail furiously. Jonathon said, “I want the one with the happy ending.”

In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God offers us a “Happy ending.” The empty tomb gives life meaning. It gives death victory, and it makes the after-life a reality. Every funeral that Jesus is recorded as attending, He resurrected the dead person. Every one! If He can resurrect the dead then He has the power to resurrect everything. Here is the story with a “happy ending.”

Whatever there may be in your life that feels like its dying, Jesus can bring new life to it…Whether it is a love for a mate, excitement at work, or your joy for living. Whatever is dying, there can be life again. That’s the lesson from Easter and that will always be a “Happy Ending.”

[Ron Otto, Lincoln Christian Church]


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