Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eighth Day Believers

When Rebekah and I got home from church yesterday I grabbed my camera and said, "Let's get an Easter picture." So I balanced my camera in a plant, set the automatic timer thingy, and ran over to where she was standing with Scout Labradoodle.

Scout jumped up (you can see she's eating my tie), the camera clicked, and the battery died - all at the same instant. It turns out we had one shot at an Easter photo.

Today's a little like that. We have one shot at living the day after Easter like Easter People, like "Eighth Day Believers." No rehearsals, no posing, no re-do. This is it. What you see is what you get....

Of course, we have the same opportunity again tomorrow. But I'm more interested in today. It may well be all we have.

MEDITATION: It’s the day after Easter… Or is it? “After” is such an unsatisfactory word when talking about everything Jesus intended and accomplished via his heroic journey.

So I’m going to discard “after” in favor of the thrust of my wife Rebekah’s Easter message in church, yesterday. “Easter is the Eighth Day of Creation.”

Fact is I’ve never bought in to the idea that God has ever stopped creating. Creation limited to six days followed by “I’m done” simply doesn’t work. Rebekah’s concept of “We’re participants in Eighth Day re-creation – it’s part of what it means to be truly alive as Jesus followers” dovetails nicely in terms of where I think the observance of Lent has been taking us.

INSIDE KNOWLEDGE: I’ll let you in on some inside knowledge… I’ve spent a lot of time during the last forty-plus days outlining and writing my new book. It’s an Easter book (no cover design or title as yet) a series of essays/devotions designed to read between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It will be available before Christmas of 2011 – targeted for Lent, 2012.

It was never my intention to have the book wrap up on Easter Day, a nice, tidy ending with no loose ends. I’m more interested in where our Easter momentum is going to take us.

Easter Sunday has the potential to be supercharged and electric; a life-saturated experience. But I’m concerned that the "charge" might be more static than empowering.

Last year Rebekah talked about how easily we consign Jesus back to the tomb come Monday morning. He’s a little safer there and he doesn’t bother us so much - especially if we roll the stone back. Then, later, we open the tomb up, just a crack, to take a peek at the Christ-life – but only every week or so.

Eighth Day Believers: This year’s idea takes it a step further. Eighth Day Believers live in the life-changing truth of resurrection. There’s no tomb visitation any more. It’s not about merely listening to the story; now it’s about taking part.

It turns out that Easter Sunday wasn’t our destination during Lent; Easter Sunday is a staging area for what comes next. If we really left the church as confirmed Eighth Day Believers, then we’re signed up to join Jesus in the re-creation business.

God is up to something significant, and we get to be participants.

Christ's plan - Part II: Interestingly, the physically risen Jesus was only a temporary factor, coming and going with brief appearances for a few days and weeks once Eighth Day set in. Jesus then “Ascended”, and he was gone. Resurrection Day set the new order in place – then Jesus moved on because part two of the plan was – and remains – his followers.

We’d better be Eighth Day Believers, because unless we’re participants in the new creation then we don’t have a prayer of accomplishing anything significant. Easter Sunday opened up the door to the possible. The journey has only just begun.

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