The Gift of Resurrection
I started Easter with a pre dawn sunrise ride with my friend Alain. This picture wasn’t today. It was in January when we were out in the snow riding together. Today we circled Loch Raven on our mountain bikes (we call it “the tour”). It was beautiful (we beat the rain). We were high above the water on the northwest side of the reservoir by the time the sun was coming up in the east. It was a soft orange/pink color that just seemed to paint the sky for us as we were pedaling along.
Riding four hours with my friend. Seeing the sunrise. Enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the trails. The trails even have texture you feel with your body as your wheels roll over rocks, dirt, sand, stones, and sticks. There aren’t many things that put me in a better mood than starting a Sunday with a ride like this.
An hour later I was sitting in church and this thought struck me: this experience is still new to me. I’ve been riding a road bike just over a year and a mountain bike less than a year. I have a new friend that I enjoy chasing on the bike (Alain is a much stronger rider than I am). I have dozens of new friends because of riding.
Then another thought struck me: things had to die to make this happen.
The abbreviated religious version of Easter goes something like this: Jesus came to earth, died on the cross as a punishment for our wrongdoing, was raised again on the third day (Easter), and people that believe in him will live forever in heaven. In an orthodox sense that message is the Apostles Creed dating back to the second century in written form. The origins are believed to be from the Apostles of Jesus directly and handed down from generation to generation.
I think that’s only part of the story.
Death proceeds life in many parts of our lives. When I started my journey to become more fit things had to die. Some good habits had to die: I have some longstanding friends that I hardly ever see because I’m spending my time differently. Some bad habits had to die: I stopped drinking alcohol altogether. The calories alone much less other negative impacts weren’t helping me get healthy. Eating habits died: I’ve had a burger and fries twice in the last four months instead of twice a week prior.
In order for new life (resurrection) to happen in one area of my life things died in other areas (crucifixion).
The message of Jesus is an invitation to new life here on this earth. Right here. Right now. It’s not just about eternal destiny and punishment for sin. I’m confidant God can sort those things out. It’s about the grace to let things die and trust that new things will come. It’s about living a life more consistent with the lives we want to live today. Now.
It’s about heaven on earth today. I got a little slice of that today touring Loch Raven with Alain.
Keep moving forward,