April 8, 2013: Your future possibilities are more important than your past failures.

Posted on : Apr 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Still Speaking

It is now one week after the Day of Resurrection.  Attendance at church was very low on Sunday, especially in comparison with the very, very full sanctuary on Easter Day.  Did somebody not get the Memo that Easter is celebrated for 50 days in the Christian Church, not just one?

That’s right.  Easter is a season, not a day in our faith.  Why is that?  Because this great process of being raised up from death into new life takes a while to “get.”  It doesn’t happen immediately.  I takes time to rise.

My grandfather (my father’s father) was an exceptionally gifted baker.  No one was exactly sure where he learned his skill, but he was one of the best.  At every family gathering, Grandpa baked fresh rolls from scratch.  My mouth still salivates just thinking of walking into their house when he was baking rolls.  I can still smell them baking.  And I can still taste them, still warm and slathered with real butter.  No matter how many he baked, it was never enough.  Every roll was eaten.  Eating those fresh baked rolls was sheer ecstasy.

One day I asked him, “Grandpa, what make your rolls so good?”  He replied, “It’s all in the rising.  You can’t rush it.  The yeast makes the dough rise, but every batch rises in its own time.  If you punch it down too soon the rolls will be tough.  If you try to rush it, they’ll be spongy.  You have to let each batch rise in its own time.”  My grandfather was a deeply religious man.

Those are words of real wisdom about how resurrection happens in our lives.  The yeast has been mixed into our lives, but each of us is going to rise in our own time.

The story of Peter’s life and faith exemplify the importance of that “change,” that “transformation,” that “rising” in our own lives.  Peter out and out denies Jesus – not just once, not twice, but three times –  on the night that Jesus is betrayed and arrested.  Just as Jesus told him, Peter lost faith in himself.  He hated himself for it but fear overtook his rock-solid faith and he crashed, just like that proverbial house built on the sand.  But in the weeks after Jesus’ death, Peter was raised back up.  He was not only stronger, he was rock solid again.  So much so, that within a short while, people saw Peter as so strong in faith, they would lie down in the streets hoping his shadow would fall on them.

In this week’s “God is Still Speaking” meditation, Tony Robinson says, “The hard path to new life means coming clean about our fears, failures and betrayals. It involves facing (as Peter did) the one we have betrayed. Doing so, Peter surrendered himself into Jesus’ power and Jesus’ hands.”

This rising-up takes time.  But in the end, remember what Peter learned: “Your future possibilities are more important than your past failures.”

Keep rising!

Easter Blessings,

Dan

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