This year, we are approaching Easter like an artist with a blank canvas. Or like a poet with a blank sheet of paper. Or like a musician ready to try to write a new song. In other words, we don’t know what it will look like, but we’re going to step forward and try. We’ll make a mark on that canvas, put a word on the page, hum a melody and try to fit a few words into it. And that actually resonates with the first Easter.
I mean, how do you live into a new reality? How do you live knowing that sin has lost its battle with grace? How do you shift to believing that death has been swallowed up by Jesus? That was a new way to live. If you read through the post resurrection stories and the book of Acts, if you read Paul’s letters in the order in which they (probably) were written, you get a clear sense that they were learning as they went. You see evidence of trying and not doing so well. You see them continually trying. (You also learn that some gave up.) You see them getting better at life on mission, better at living into the new reality that the cross and resurrection had ushered in.
We’re doing something like that now. Churches all around the country are hosting on-line meetings, streaming messages, posting songs. Since Thursday, I heard music, teaching, and preaching from people I have not sat in church with in decades – most were posting things from their homes. Are we good at it? Honestly, not too bad in my opinion – and getting better – like artists who keep working at their craft.
In that spirit, I’m posting my second self-recorded video message. The quality improved a bit – I think? But if you watch it, my prayer for you is this: May the Lord use it to strengthen your hope, increase your faith, and remind you a bit of the height, width, depth, and breadth of his love for you in Jesus Christ.
(Quick word of thanks to the Underground Open for making me think about mission like art. You all encouraged us well!)
If you want to think more about the message, here’s a place for more exploring.