Monday, November 15, 2010

Knowing God - 1 Corinthians 15:55

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Your Name is VICTORY
Lord, you are resurrection and life. Resurrect whatever is dying within me
and give me victory over whatever I need to escape from today.
What do you need to escape from? What victory do you crave? Pray for it!
 
"O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?"
1 Corinthians 15:55
 
A week or so ago we commemorate All Saints Day -- the day in the church year when we remember all the faithful departed and celebrate the promise of heaven.
 
In the midst of a couple thousand words of sermon, I was struck by the number of people who grabbed hold of five of them:
 
We grieve because we love.
 
It even made it, I am told, onto a few Facebook accounts as their status for the day.
 
Sometimes Christians are told -- directly or indirectly -- "If you really believed in heaven, you wouldn't grieve." I generally tell people, "We're not sad for the person who's died. They're in heaven. Rather we grieve for us. We now have a hole in our hearts." In other words, we grieve because we love.
 
But I pray that we also say ... 
 
We hope because we trust.
 
The resurrection changes things. Death no longer has the final word. Here's a little more of 1 Corinthians 15:
 
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised ... 17 your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
 
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
 
51 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who
grieves because he loves,
hopes because he trusts,
and eats because he's hungry
----------------------------------
We grieve because we love ... that was my facebook status for more than one day.  It struck me as so true!!! The ones I loved the most, I still grieve for ... Granny, Pa, Mema, Monica and mostly - Lucas.   In truth - I long for that 'twinkling of an eye', the 'falling asleep in this world and waking up cradled in the arms of Jesus.'  I want to escape this body, this world, this time.

Pastor asks us to pray for resurrection over whatever is dying within us and victory over what we need to escape from.  My initial, cynical, thought was - I want to escape this life. I am slowly dying inside...and I don't have the strength to stop it.

Then he says that we 'hope because we trust.' I am not ready to make that my facebook status.  I have learned not to trust. Hope is a dim shape in the distant fog. Not certain if it is real or the swirling air.  So, if hope has no more substance than the morning fog, then how can a person hold on to that enough to trust?

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