Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Does the resurrection faith scare the "bejeezus out of us"? (Genesis 17:2)

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 17:2 (TM) - larger reading Genesis 17:1-8
I'll make a covenant between us and I'll give you a huge family.

Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. His instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God." 

“The prospects are just as bright as the promise of God” or being told well into his nineties that he, Abram, was going to be the father of many nations or the disciples running to find the tomb empty. Such is faith.

Faith is believing that all of this is possible and probable. Faith is betting our life that it is true... all of it! Faith is committing to go where we least want to go. I’m 71 and am enjoying my three grandchildren and just the thought of starting over with the full time responsibility of raising a baby sends shivers up and down my spine, but hey, who knows. Such was the case with Abraham and Sarah. They already had one foot in the grave and were about to have the other one in the nursery. Such is the issue of faith.

Are we ready for whatever God has in store for us?

But doesn’t our companionship with the living Christ take us down the path of the least likely scenario? Shouldn’t it open us up to all sorts of unbelievable possibilities? Dare we stoop down to look into the empty tomb and thus encounter the resurrected Lord and hear him say: “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” It will scare the “bejeezus out of us”… or at least it should.

Or as I like to think: it should “scare us spitless”, because if it doesn’t than we don’t understand what comes next in the story of resurrection faith… our resurrection to a transformed life, a life heading in a totally different direction than the one we have planned out for ourselves. As they say: “What to make God laugh?  Just go ahead and tell Him your plans for your life.”


We say we are ready, but we really aren’t. We say we will do whatever it is you want us to do, but we won’t. We say a lot of things that when push-comes-shove … well, just forget it. And yet, we desire a resurrection faith that will take us there.

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