Faith Matters

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By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE

 “Resurrectionlife’s second chance!”

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” –     1 Peter 1:3-4a

I wrote a book a little over five years ago.  It’s titled, ‘God Works.’ It wasn’t planned.  With some encouragement it just sort of happened.  It’s still available.  Typing my name in your browser with the words ‘God Works’ and ‘Xulon Press’ you can get a copy.  You can also find it on amazon.com or the Barnes & Noble website.  They’ll ship it right to your house or you can download it on your Nook or Kindle app.  It’s a devotional thing… personal… couples… families… or for a small group conversation!  Just 40 chapters (very short and BIG print) … focusing on 40 words with most of them ending with the letters ‘t-i-o-n’… celebrating the actions and persistent work of God.  Looking for a topic there to write about this week I checked out the term, ‘resurrection.’  My bad.  Out of the 40 words included… resurrection was absent.  How did that happen?  I’m really not sure… really… so keep reading as I’m about to compose the first entry of a second volume…

It’s all about Easter and it’s all about God and it’s all about us… resurrection that is… the work of God demonstrating the lengths God will go to in order to prove how love conquers sin, death and the power of evil.  It’s the reality of combining obedience and sacrifice which makes resurrection possible.  And of course, death… yes, death… for without death… resurrection is not possible OR needed!  And let’s face it… who likes talking about death… ours or God’s.  But, there it is… so, happy Easter to all of you all as God is faithful…  offering second chances because of resurrection!

I love it when people attempt to engage me in a conversation by starting out with the statement… “God is dead.”  Without sounding too judgmental or critical I interrupt them by saying… “No…God WAS dead… WAS dead” and that usually gets us to the question… “what do you mean… WAS?”  That’s when Easter’s surprise shows up. Again.

I mean look at it this way… if God was able to form the cosmos out of nothing… then why is it difficult to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead?  That means not only is God alive… it also means that God WAS dead.  It’s pretty well understood that Jesus died on a cross in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago and if Jesus died on the cross then God died, too.  If Jesus is God… which is what he proclaimed … “I and the Father are one…” and if the Church hails Jesus as God then the Jesus who is God is also the God who died on the cross and then is also the Jesus who rose from the dead three days later… so … no… God is not dead… God WAS dead and when you come back from the dead you’ve been given another chance at life.  And that second chance can mean a lot of things…

When was the last time you thought everything about your life was over?  Last year?  Last month?  Last week?  Today?  In all facets of life… for individuals… in families or communities we can all experience a second chance… a resurrection from that which seemed oh so real and oh so dead.  A hurricane?  A flood? A fire?  A marriage?  A job? A loss on the playing field?  The loss of a limb or one’s hearing or sight?  How many examples are necessary to get the point?  God raising Jesus from the dead was God’s acknowledgement that in life sometimes terrible things happen… but they are temporary… with the promise of something new on the horizon.  And Christians use the word… ‘grace’… to describe how that happens… of course with words like love and power and fulfillment and will attached.  For it is the will of God for the fulfilment of all things that God’s love and power remain eternal offering an inheritance that cannot perish, spoil or fade…  and… faith matters…

The Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches over the last four decades in Texas and Louisiana.  Read more following Brian’s blogmurmuringsat https://briangigee.wordpress.com/.   Send comments and/or questions to [email protected].

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