Ever Since Easter: New Eyes for an Old World – The Eighth Day, The New Creation

(Glasses) I've been wearing these since I was 14. But I still recall the first day. "Wow! So that's what it's supposed to look like!" Our sweet friend here, Emily Tutor, has recently received a cochlear implant. Her ear is being trained in its use. There will come a day, any day now I pray, when Emily will exclaim, "Wow! So this is what the world's supposed to sound like!" Your little one's teetering on the training wheels. Soon comes that first day you're really bicycling. And that child of yours will know a racing heart and a soaring spirit. "Look it me! I'm zoomin' free!" You get the idea. There come those moments for us when everything is new. The old fades. The not-possible happens for you. Everything looks and feels different. It IS different, and will never be the same again. And all because of one defining moment.

May this be your day. 'Every Sunday your moment.

Four weeks into Easter, celebrating Jesus up from the grave,

it's like we see this old world new-and-right for the first time.

Ours ears are unstopped. We are balanced at last. 'Riding the wind.

And all by the hand of the Maker of heaven and earth,

and Jesus Christ his only son our Lord!

 

This is radical! Real! A revelation! Ours to see & share, do & dare!

What a far cry from the current world view. Not confidence but chaos makes the news. And the news likely helps makes the chaos. (Remember that. It's a clue…to some Easter work you and I have to do. More about that in a minute.) Every week's a challenge. But this one more than most. "H1N1 Swine flu! What to do? What to do? Earth's temperature is rising, the sky is falling; pirates are pirating, unemployment's appalling. Pakistan's posturing, North Korea wants to launch; our kids come home homeworked, grandma's down with the graunch! Je-su-flip my dear partner, call your mom or Aunt Marge, there's trouble all over and no one's in charge!" UNLESS… you and I have been blessed with an antidote. A vision vaccine! That's what a creed is. It's why they're important. While the world is atwitter, we can be at peace. "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord!" We have a Maker, an Orderer, a Purpose, a Deliverer. Creeds seem pretty creaky nowadays. BORING! But I tell you, they really are a kind of vision vaccine. The most familiar, the Apostles' Creed, came to us about 150 AD. It was meant to protect believers from the (faith-) falsehoods of the day. It's been doing so ever since. Back-when, the daily fib was this. The Testaments, old and new present two different Gods! One of wrath, one of love. One for, one against us. Surrender the first, serve the second. The ancients didn't debate, "Is there a god?" They argued: how many and of what kind or character? Our age asks if there is any god at all. Anyone in charge. Any order in order, plan in play. The news, the world, the culture screams, "No", especially this week. "In masks we trust." "In bailouts and bankruptcy we believe." "Ruin rules."

We can navigate by a different narrative. Repeated 'til it reigns in our hearts, we can counter and we can trust, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." You and I can remind one another regularly. And the world. That's our Easter homework! We came from Someone. And somewhere. We matter. We're SOMEbody! We weren't an accident, a parental "oops" or a cosmic coincidence. We have a Maker! So too, every thing every where. Occasionally we read John's words. "IN THE beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." How affirming, comforting, guiding. But not so memorable. So we are taught early and often to repeat, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." When the flu flies, Chrysler crashes, the kid in our school kills his mama and we wonder what's next and where's the sense, we can lean on our Maker. Isaiah's got it! "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint. [Do you need some?] And to those of no might he increases their strength. [You're not fadin' are ya?] O, Even the youth shall faint and be weary, and the young shall fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." 40: 28-31

Because we believe in an Orderer, we can rely on our sense of order in God's name. We may not understand. We needn't. All we need is to trust. Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Vast but intimate. Purposeful but perplexing. Last week we noted out there between the stars, a big empty place in the universe. A billion light-years across. Six billion trillion miles. A lot of nothing! No planets, stars, gases or galaxies. Incomprehensible. But we are told, the perfect compliment, the necessary drain among the stars. Surely our sometimes emptiness, in our personal lives, our shared life, is not too big or deep to be put to use by the Maker of it all, even if we cannot  see the how or why. 'A good thing to know for the soul who can't see past the kids clutter to a clean house, or an income-cut to a new-opportunity.

"I believe in God: Father, Maker. 'AND… [at the same time, one and inseparable…] in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord!" When you wonder, "What's the point?" here it is! HERE IS OUR PURPOSE. To be family to God! A needed brother or sister to Jesus, and a child to God. "Heirs and fellow-heirs with Christ." That's what the NT says. I spent an hour this week with a wonderful young fellow who doubts this. "I can't believe what I can't see," he says. I looked at the baby he held in his arms and noted, "And you won't see [not fully] what you won't believe." Opening our hearts, to our children or our chances-with-Heaven opens our eyes. Not the other way around. Christ, walking, crying, teaching, healing, stretching on the cross, shattering the tomb, provides us with a point, a purpose. And… he will see us through. In spite of everything. Above anything. Through all manner of things.  I believe in Jesus Christ, God's son, our Lord. Every Sunday, every chaotic day, we do well to listen to the words that say, "Rejoice in the Lord always [not occasionally, on good days or holy days, but always]. Again I say, Rejoice. Let everybody know your forbearance. [Don't let anybody miss it. Not even you.] The Lord is at hand. [Not far off, though trouble draw near]! Have no anxiety about any thing, but in every thing [no holdin' out], by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [It's all good. Take it to God!] And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4 New-Eyes-for-an-Old-World. That's us. Resurrection people. 8th Day-ers. A whole new creation in Christ. That's what it means to say, "I believe…."  

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