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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Work of Salvation

So Easter Sunday has come and gone. It was a beautiful day. I enjoyed my time with my wife and daughter and with some new friends. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and the beautiful surroundings of Graylin Manor, then some quality time outside. It was such a great and blessed day.

So now what? Easter is only one day for most people in this country but in the Church Easter goes on for a few more weeks. We continue to reflect and rejoice on Christ's victory over death. So what about you and I?

I am always joyful on Easter Sunday. I feel great as we celebrate the Resurrection. I feel great as I spend time with family and enjoy the beautiful day. Then as the day wears on I find myself kind of wishing the day would not end. Like a kid at the end of spring break I don't want to go back to the day to day struggles of life. I want to be lost in the Resurrection every day.

Why do I lament the day after the Resurrection? As I pondered this question yesterday I came to one conclusion: for us as Christians we must go through many deaths to self and our sinful nature before we will truly experience resurrection. Put more simply, I know that there is a lot of work to do in order for me to truly experience Resurrection.

Yes, Christ died for my sins, he went deep into the pits of sinfulness and evil and rose victorious over sin and death - giving us a pathway to heaven. This is joyful news. This is news to celebrate. But this pathway to heaven takes work. In order for me to experience true resurrection I have many things to overcome in my life. I have to go through a lot more "good Friday's" and I have to go deep within and face the sinfulness and evil within. I do this with Christ as my healer and teacher of course, and he will help me to rise victorious over the sin and evil in my own life.

But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, `I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades. - Acts 2:24 - 27
I guess the hard part is not the work of healing sinfulness, because that work is not for me to do. It is taking that first step. Recognizing patterns of sin in my life is easy, admitting to them and taking them to Christ asking Him to heal them is the hardest part of all. But in today's first reading I am reminded that my "Lord [is] always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken." So as we begin this journey of Resurrection in our own life this Easter Season, let us "dwell in hop. For [God] will not abandon [our souls] to Hades."

I move forward in Hope, rejoicing in the Resurrection even as I die to my own selfishness, pride, greed, lust, envy, sloth, hatred, anger, vanity... Therefore my heart will be glad and my tongue will rejoice.